Fall Athletes Suffer from Short Summers

The Leesville Road High cross country team talking before a practice. Cross country athletes have been training for eight weeks now, four of which were during the summer. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Polansky)The Leesville Road High cross country team talking before a practice. Cross country athletes have been training for eight weeks now, four of which were during the summer. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Polansky)

Fall athletes have been waking up and putting in work for their respective sports for nearly a month now. Athletes and coaches alike had begun their training long before school kicked off.  

The fall sports at Leesville includes cross country, cheer, football, volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s golf, and women’s tennis. Seven teams worth of students and coaches, voluntarily giving up their time in the summer for various reasons.

Tryouts for fall sports started as early as late June. Practices immediately followed these tryouts and the cycle of summer training began.

“I play volleyball, and practice started August second; but tryouts started August first,” said Mary Mae, a sophomore and JV volleyball player. “I [have] definitely sacrificed a lot of time. At least 11 hours a week, if not more. Time wasn’t much of a concern at the time because school wasn’t in session, and I didn’t have to worry about tests or anything, but it did have an effect on when I could hang out with people or make plans.”

The majority of fall athletes had a strong desire to be a part of these teams despite the sacrifice of personal time. For most, it was a means of personal gain, to improve the team, or just a way to see friends that summer has alienated them from.

“I believe the time lost is worth it,” said Max Buico, a sophomore and cross country runner. “It helps me become a better runner, and I don’t believe the time is lost. I’m still hanging out with friends and growing closer to people I will be spending a lot of time with this fall.”

Coaches of these teams, however, were the wildcard — why should these working class adults be forfeiting the little time they have left for students?

“The lost time is 100% worth it,” said Geoffery Travegline, history teacher and assistant cross country coach. “I would do it all for no pay simply because I love coaching, love watching people succeed, and love seeing people tap into potential they never knew they had. It’s why I teach and why I coach. The work and the loss of freedom during the summer pays off during the season as people are able to get stronger and faster knowing they put in the ground level when it was the hardest to come out and hardest to train.”

With the summer training behind them and each season kicked off, the fall sports teams have set the stage for a dominant season.

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