One effect that high school sports have on young student athletes is a chance for them to really put themselves out there. It can take a kid that doesn’t have many friends and change that around and only one season and have brothers around him and sisters. That’s something special that high school sports does to these kids. Which is why high school is different without them.
I was talking to star long pole William Gerlach From Tiverton high school and what high school sports mean to him. He responded with, “Growing up playing sports for the town of Tiverton offered me a strange, yet harsh dose of reality during my childhood. Anyone familiar with athletics in Rhode Island would know that Tiverton is far from a powerhouse; we’ve certainly had our moments, but playing for any Tiverton team comes with pro-bono knowledge that there will always be a bigger fish, an opponent with greater skill and athleticism than you -- and perhaps a center taller than six feet. From a young age I had to elect to play sports for the love of the game, rather than an unquenchable desire to win, simply because the latter of those two options was impossible to achieve. That's why I think I’ll look back on my days of high school athletics fondly, because even the moments where I was angry, upset, or frustrated, those emotions were just a byproduct of the passion I felt for the sport. Anything worth your frustration will pay dividends in positive memories and the feeling of satisfaction when something goes right. The lessons I’ve learned from Tiverton athletics are innumerable, whether it was how to give your whole effort when you’re down for the count, or that hard work beats talent any day of the week, these are lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and are ones I am grateful to have been taught. Although I will admit, it would have been cool to have played for a D1 school with nicer uniforms, better competition, and more fans, but I wouldn’t give up my experience with Tiverton athletics for anything, and I thoroughly believe I am a better person because of my time spent playing sports for Tiverton High School.”
I was able to talk to lacrosse goalie from Tiverton high school, senior Andrew Carlisle. High school sports, lacrosse in particular mean a lot to Andrew and I wanted to ask him what high school sports really mean to him. He replied with, “High school sports create a sense of family and are an escape from reality. No matter what you may be going through, you can always lace up and get some work in. Teams create a sense of community and support, everyone should at least try a sport. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to love what you do.”