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Athletes supporting athletes is what our athletic program needed

Bill Fleming
Softball program showing up to support the girls hockey team facing their biggest rival, Liggett.

A new person in the athletic director position can influence many changes in our athletic program here at South. As many probably already know, Andrew Rishmawi is South’s new athletic director and is striving to make South’s programs better every day.

One main thing that Rishmawi highlighted was that the participation of student-athletes supporting other student-athletes was low. Growing up in a small town where the most fun thing in high school was going to see other teams play, seeing South not participate as much in that was surprising to Rishmawi.

“My main goal here is to support the athletes,” Rishmawi said. “I want to be able to promote them as much as possible.”

One of the big changes that Rishmawi has implemented is the requirement for each athletic team to go to at least one game of another sport during the on or offseason. Mackenzie Simon ’26 has attended two games for her sports softball and swim.

“Going to the games was not only a good bonding experience with my teams, but it was also a great time to go see teams play that I wouldn’t usually go and watch,” Simon said.

One of the teams that Simon attended was the Girls Varsity Hockey game against Liggett. Simon went with her softball team and said that it was a way more fun and intense game to watch than she thought it would be. Varsity hockey coach Lexi Bohlinger said she loved that the softball team came and supported the girls and is surprised that it doesn’t happen more often.

“I coach at Lawrence Tech too and it is always highly encouraged all the time to go out and support other women’s sports,” Bohlinger said. “I think it is unfortunate that it has to be encouraged, I think that it should just be something that athletes just do for one another.”

Rishmawi is definitely looking to implement more changes such as us having one parent meeting for all of the spring sports this season. The main thing he is striving to do is help out with participation and Simon said that she is glad that this change happened.

“I feel like going to other kinds of sporting events should be more normalized for athletes to do,” Simon said. “It truly is more fun and awesome to go and do than you would think.”

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Maggie O'Brien '25
Maggie O'Brien '25, Web Editor
Maggie O’Brien ’25 is the opposite of what you would consider a lazy student. O’Brien involves herself in school clubs and activities, including Student Association, Student Council and Interact along with being a multi-sport athlete. O’Brien is a second-year staffer and web editor on Tower. Always looking for the opportunity to try new things, O’Brien decided to join Tower to experience the community and possibilities that are offered. “I love writing about the things I’m interested in and just having fun with it overall,” O’Brien said. “It's a great place to meet new friends and experience things you wouldn't usually see yourself doing.”

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