By Julia Gokalp
With the cold temperatures, chilling winds, and anticipation of winter break comes the end of the fall sports season. The fall sports teams, including cross country, football, field hockey, golf, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer, cease to play games; at this time, many students post pictures of games on social media as the season’s change approaches.
However, the end of the season is not truly the end for these athletes since year-round training takes place in preparation for the season. Pre- and post-season workouts took place in many sports between last season and this one, and even without it, students trained in preparation for this year.
As an example, Alexa Giorgio, a sophomore on the varsity tennis team, has played tennis since elementary school. She spent six weeks over the summer playing tennis at a camp. She also took lessons in the winter when she was younger to improve her skills.
Those on the varsity football team also trained off-season, but their training was with the team. It began in January, and continued throughout the year, becoming frequent in summer.
Once the seasons commenced, so did more consistent and demanding training that led up to and prepared students for games. For the football team, drills varied from conditioning to sprinting to distance runs. The girls’ cross-country team ran 10 to 13 miles per day in order to build up stamina for their sole event, the 5k. The girls’ volleyball team, on the other hand, focused on both position-specific drills and team-oriented ones.
Naturally, all of this training was meant to prepare athletes for games and meets. The football team got off to a rough start with a loss in their first game, but by continuing to work hard, as varsity football player Andrew Kelly states, the team had “potential to be better later in the year.” The team improved throughout the season, improving their record and eventually reaching the playoffs.
The varsity field hockey team, which had a record of 13-5, faced a challenging year after losing four seniors, who were described by Jess Kusters, a sophomore who played on both varsity and JV, as “amazing and great leaders both on and off the field.” With the loss of those players, she commented, the season was more difficult. “But for all of this being said,” she commented, “we really did accomplish a lot and worked well together.”
The athletes on various teams clearly cared about how well they did in competition with other schools, and some found their victories against other schools, difficulties transcended, and overall records to be memorable and something of which they should be proud. However, as hinted by Jess’s statement, cooperation between teammates and the family-like companionship was considered one of the more memorable aspects of the fall sports this season.
Sarah Caola, a member on both the girls’ JV and varsity volleyball teams, mentioned that, while the teams worked on improvement, “the girls supported one another on the team and always had each other[‘]s backs.” Regarding her supportive teammates, she added, “My favorite part of being on the team is hands down the girls. I am so close to each and every one of those intelligent, kind, beautiful girls, and [I am] beyond grateful to have them in my life.”
Jess Kusters also believes that her teammates were the most rewarding part of her sport, for as she mentioned, “I could call [them] my sisters and […] share[d] such great times with them throughout games, practice, and bus rides!”
The enthusiasm about one’s teammates spans more than just the two sports of field hockey and volleyball, for cooperation is necessary in order to be as successful as North’s teams were this season. The extent to which teammates cared for each other over all was evident wherever one could look- from social media to games to victorious moments to times when the athletes hung out together. This camaraderie combined with their sportsmanship and competitive spirit and will to win brought them far.