Freshmen with strong skills play on varsity teams


In the spring, freshman hopefuls will come to Rochester High’s baseball field, hoping to make the varsity team.

Evan Smyth

It’s fall again, and that means two things: pumpkin spiced everything and school sports. For many freshmen, it is their first opportunity to play high school sports, and for those with the skills, they may make the varsity team.

In 2013, Laverne Antrobus, a child psychology expert, attempted to prove that the age for development may not be 0-18, but 0-25. She told BBC that, “My experience of young people is that they still need quite a considerable amount of support and help beyond that age.” With freshmen ranging from ages 13-15, they may not be developed enough to play up and risk injury.  

Athletic director Mr. Luke Beach says the toughness of the sport determines whether or not a he or she should be allowed to play at the higher level.

“It varies, for instance with a sport like swim, you could be doing it your whole life, but some sports, like football, cheer and wrestling, require our student athletes to be more prepared, physically, than others,” Mr. Beach said.

Freshman Ryan Allor plays varsity volleyball.

“It was a pretty good experience,” Allor said. “The upperclassmen really welcomed me in and even drove me to practices and games.”

Allor says the difficult workouts pushed her.

“I get in some good reps at a higher level and I feel like it helped me a lot,” Allor said. “It is really competitive, but it helps them improve and it isn’t hard to fit in.”

Sophomore Erik Williams, a swimmer who made varsity as a freshmen, recalls his experience with the swim team.

“On the swim team, there is a big difference between freshmen and seniors, so you get to learn a lot from them,” Williams said. “It was a great experience and the whole team welcomed and accepted me.”

Williams agrees with Allor that being on varsity helped him succeed.

“I got to work with and against some swimmers much better than me, and it pushed me to be better,” Williams said.

In the end, Mr. Beach says a freshman’s success on a varsity team really depends on whether or not he or she has the skills to play up.

“If they are are mentally and physically prepared they should play,” Mr. Beach said. “And if the athlete is skilled enough to play, it can only help the team”.