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Giving student athlete a whole new meaning

GETTING A HEAD START Varsity football player Jackson Rybicki ’24 lifting weights during seventh hour Advanced Team Sports in preparation for football practice and games this week.













For many students, school doesn’t end when the final bell rings. Instead, it means it’s time to head to practice and spend even more time with your classmates, practicing for the big game coming up. Whether that time is dreaded or awaited, every student athlete knows it. For South’s Varsity Football Team, though, that feeling comes a little before the 3:05 p.m. dismissal.

For several years, Advanced Team Sports has been a semester-long course offered to South students. The ones that choose to take it, though, are almost all varsity football players. This semester, the class roster consists of about 90 percent of the team, including Captain Josh Lemanski ’25.

“The whole entire week is scheduled out,” Lemanski said. “Monday and Wednesday we spend lifting, Tuesdays and Fridays we watch film and then Thursdays we start practice early because there are freshmen home games.”

Lemanski said that final hour of the day really helps the team come together and focus for the week.

“It really makes that connection that you guys aren’t just athletes together, you’re students together,” Lemanski said. “It just helps build that up.”

After the football season ends, the class loosens up on their practice and focuses on more fun activities, like playing basketball, volleyball, kickball and all sorts of other sports.

“It’s a blast,” Lemanski said. “It’s like a tutorial, but you get to have fun.”

Despite being available to all students, the fall semester class is designed for only football players. Varsity Football Coach and Advanced Team Sports teacher Chad Hepner said it builds a daily football-focused schedule that wouldn’t benefit other student athletes.

“The class is open to any student that has completed the Intro to Team Sports class,” Hepner said. “But in our seventh-hour first-semester (class), we structure to get football players in that section. Either second semester or a different hour will be where we put students that are not football players.”

Hepner said that most other schools in the Mac White Division that the South Football Team competes against have a class similar to Advanced Team Sports.

“I’m not sure that it gives us a competitive edge, but we think it is good for the program and we think it helps us,” Hepner said. “We certainly also understand that not everybody can make it work with their schedule.”

While most varsity players are able to take the class this semester, a few put other classes a little higher on their list of priorities and aren’t able to get it in their schedule.

“It conflicted with classes that took more of a priority for me,” varsity player Liam Raether ’24 said. “In this case, it was choir and last year it was my econ class—both of which were very important to me.”

To stay caught up with his teammates taking Advanced Team Sports, Raether said he tries to make up for missed activities and film reviewing at home on his own time.

“What they watch in class I usually watch at home, and then the working out part I can do on my own as well,” Raether said. “I never felt really behind.”

PUMPING IRON The Varisty Football player Sean DeGrand ’24 lifting weights in seventh hour Advanced Team Sports in the South Gym, trying to stay ahead for the busy week.













Raether said having their coach double as a South teacher puts the team in a unique position to have a football-centered class as a period in the day. No other sport has the same luxury at South.

“Our head coach is Coach Hepner, so he’s able to run the class since he’s both a social studies teacher and athletic teacher,” Raether said. “It just happens to be that sweet spot for him, but I think it would be nice if it was available for all sports.”

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Charlotte Glasser ’25, Supervising Page Editor
When she’s not baking or watching Gilmore Girls, second year staffer and Supervising Copy Editor Charlotte Glasser ’25 is behind the computer making The Tower newspaper come alive. Glasser takes French through University of Detroit Mercy, her goal is to become fluent; she was inspired this year after her trip to France in July, this past summer.“I think that French is such a beautiful language and I have always wanted to be bilingual,” Glasser said. Both of Glasser’s siblings have been on The Tower in years prior—her sister enjoyed it so much that Glasser decided to follow in her footsteps. She said that one of the reasons she loves Tower is that journalism is its style of writing.“If essay writing or creative writing isn’t your thing, maybe this is and I love how Tower has something for everyone,” said Glasser.

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