BY KAYLA GATES
As students dive deeper into the 2018-2019 school year, many are preparing for their athletic seasons. With conditioning beginning for some sports, players can expect to gain confidence in their ability and team.
For a few sports, the season has already taken off. CCHS football, volleyball and swimming are just a couple of the programs that have begun competing. For those teams with a late summer to early fall term, the practice began over the summer.
Still, there are many seasons yet to come, all sharing a common aspect: conditioning. With teams striving for success, preseason practice has become an essential part of the athletics department.
One sport currently underway is softball. While varsity and junior varsity tryouts take place in early January, interested students will begin meeting in October. The potential players will take to the fields to improve their batting, throwing and running. While training may be intense, softball sponsor Phil Schmalz is confident in its effectiveness.
“Preseason conditioning allows us to see the athleticism of each prospective player and how they respond to adversity,” Schmalz said. “They are doing workouts that will benefit them for general fitness as well as softball fitness.”
Coaches aren’t the only ones who recognize the benefits of the intense practice. Freshman Jordyn Hustey, who plays softball, is already preparing for tryouts. Coming into high school, she realizes that the competition is fierce, which is why she will be participating in practices this fall.
“I believe conditioning is beneficial for the upcoming season,” Hustey said. “It helps the coaches get to know the players, and it helps us get ready for the high school season.”
Early practice can be extremely useful for young athletes, especially those new to a team or sport. The meetings allow students to learn more about team responsibilities, talk with fellow players and perfect their skills.
Also beginning preseason conditioning is water polo. The interested students will participate in the water-based exercise to prepare for the rigorous sport. Practices are run by coach Ross Benner, who will be observing potential team members.
For those unsatisfied with the current options available, there is no need to worry about a lack of opportunities. CCHS offers a wide range of varsity and junior varsity sports throughout the school year, hoping to attract athletes of all skill sets.
Some seasons to look out for include soccer (November to February), wrestling (November to March) and a variety of sports in the spring. Students should also be aware of conditioning times, as many occur prior to the start of the season. While conditioning isn’t mandatory, it is highly recommended by coaches. Participants can expect to see substantial benefits as athletes and as students.
“This time allows a coach to get a glimpse of what needs to be focused on,” volleyball coach and physical education department head Jill Smitherman said. “More importantly, it gives the athlete the necessary opportunities to work on the skills that would allow them to make the team if they are new to the program, and allows returning players to build chemistry with their teammates.”
Photo by Carly Cuoco