Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Rise [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Playing sports is more than competing

By Katelynne Lener
Special to ESPNRISE.com

Editor's note: ESPNHS is ESPNRISE.com's high school journalism program. Student reporters from across the country cover sports and athletes from their schools. Want to get involved? Start blogging on your profile today!

Volleyball
Athletes like carrooowarrooo24 and her volleyball team make friends and memories through sports.

When you start high school, you're surrounded by a lot of people that you don't know. It can be rough not having any of your friends in your classes or even to sit with you at lunch!

I made a rookie mistake by thinking I could just make new friends in class. My other friends became good friends with other girls while I seemed to still have the same friends. True, some of the friends they made were in their classes, but they made most of their new friends through sports. I really felt left out.

Going into my freshman year, I didn't sign up for anything. I wasn't really confident in my abilities and didn't think I would be good at any sports. The thing I learned is that it doesn't matter how good you are at something. There are a lot of pros to playing sports that I missed out on. You make a lot of new friends with all the camaraderie and connections that are between you and your teammates.

By playing sports, memories are created that you'll remember for the rest of your life. You feel like you're a part of something and have this great bond. You almost feel like you're part of a special clique.

Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, there were fall sport sign-ups for the next year. I thought it would be fun to do a sport, but I wasn't really serious about it. It wasn't until one of my good friends said that she was going to change her sport from volleyball to tennis that I really became serious. I felt that I could be very good at tennis. Other sports were too technical for me and tennis seemed so straight-forward.

I now actually feel like a part of my school by doing tennis. I can't wait to make really good friends with new and interesting people. We've already started voluntary practices and I'm having so much fun. That's what's so great about sports.

Katelynne Lener is a sophomore in high school.
Check out the ESPNHS archive.