As the 2021-2022 school year wraps up, student-athletes are feeling the pressure to finish strong or get ahead for the next sports season. Athletes who play both high school and club/select sports feel the heat at the end of the season. “There’s definitely lots of pressure as an athlete that I put on myself. I’m always trying to improve and when results take time it can be hard to push through. I love swimming even when it gets intense,” freshman swimmer Abi Vanturennout said.
Vanturennout swims for both GP’s girls swim and dive, and SRST, also known as the Snohomish Stingrays. While the two seasons don’t overlap, having non-stop practices four times a week on top of school and a social life can take a toll on her. “Always putting time and energy into sport influences me, both on my mental and physical health. Sometimes balancing out sport, school and mental health can be challenging but as long as I focus, I manage,” she said.
While swimming is a very demanding sport, it’s not the only sport that student-athletes dedicate themselves to. When freshman cheerleader Tabitha Biasco made the cheer squad her first year trying out, she had already been cheering for four years at Connect Cheer NW. Biasco’s team, Twilight, won third overall at the Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando, Florida for the limited small coed division. “High school cheer is a great way to build bonds and be a leader for the school. Competitive sport is where everyone has the same athletic ability and competes against others in the same division in front of thousands of people. Performing without making mistakes is where the pressure gets real,” Biasco said.
Girls Varsity soccer finished their season with a record of 15-5, and JV finishing with 5-3-5, and the teams played through rain or shine, injuries, and covid cancellations. The love for the sport can fade when added pressure or outside factors are considered. “My views on soccer as a sport have changed because school soccer is so different from club soccer as school is with people you know so there’s a sense of school pride to try and win. Club is much more competitive and stressful, so it helps prepare you and get better at the sport,” Clara Diepenbrock said.
As their high school careers have just begun, these underclassmen reveal what it’s like to be playing almost year-round balancing school, family and social lives with their love for sports.