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Pressure promotes passion

Meg Kelly ’24
Awards case for previously won state championships for Women’s hockey and field hockey.

The asphalt and leaves blow by as cars race down St. Paul after whipping out of the J lot. The smell of cleats and pads fills each car. A multitude of laughter and pushing begins as teammates race to be first in line into the houses for the annual pregame pasta parties. Between team bonding activities, preseason festivities, and playing together for most of a high school career, our athletic teams become extremely close. Groups of athletes that come from very different groups of friends, grades, and clubs become best friends. The question then becomes, how will these crews maintain their success and friendships once the senior class leaves?

This hole in a team can truly leave detrimental effects on a group and put pressure on underclassmen. How will they contribute to the seniors’ impact on the new generations? Playing with new sets of teammates can throw off rhythm and promote irritation on growing teams. How will our teams adjust to this new change?

Junior midfielder Field Hockey player, Scout Webber highlights how the seniors this year promoted inclusion of the underclassmen and how success off the field contributed to the team’s wins this year.

“Our team was so successful this year on the field because of our true love for each other off the field,” Webber said. “By the end of the season, we just knew how to read each other’s minds while playing which is a skill that not many teams have. We also know how to read each other’s emotions which is really helpful especially if a teammate needs a lift at practice one day. This makes us special and strong.”

Junior ice hockey goalie, Rosie Smith explains the excitement for the new season but also the pressures that come along with filling the seniors positions. She describes this past season as strongly led and that the bond will be hard to replace when they step out onto the ice for the first time.

“We were really strong last year because our seniors led with a lot of passion,” Smith said. “I feel a lot of pressure to step up and to impact the underclassmen the same way the graduated seniors impacted me.”

Senior Women’s Golf Team Captain, Cate Hampton explains her role as the only senior on the team this year as challenging but fun. Her newfound organization skills take the stress out of leading a group of young women. She is confident that the juniors will be able to step up and take on what she has left because each of the underclassmen has been extremely involved this season.
“I would give the juniors my advice to plan ahead,” Hampton said. “I feel that at the beginning of the season, I found myself stressed by doing everything last minute and I would leave everyone wondering what was next on our schedule, but once I got that under control, the season has run a lot more smoothly and I hope the juniors will take that on.”

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