Sports at New Haven High may have changed at its core: rules, regulations, standards, and other guidelines from Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) have changed over the years. When it comes down to the athletes, what has changed? From day one to today, how have the athletes adapted to keep up with it all?
Students attending New Haven have always been given one comment regardless of who it’s from: “New Haven has amazing sportsmanship.” As a smaller school, I believe that the majority of inspiration comes from our advisors, whether it’s on or off the court. When the crowd fills in the bleachers in our hot gymnasium, the first thing they notice is our floor, naturally. The second thing they notice is the unity among our teams. We stand for the Pledge of Allegiance together. We give each other encouragement as a team, a school.
Regardless of who is on the court or in the crowd, one thing New Haven always does is cheer on our Shamrocks. The students in the crowd come to boost the spirit, understanding that being there and supporting the playing team matters a lot more than your social status or the teams you personally partake in. Being there to support the Shamrocks to victory or defeat has much more value than the trophy itself.
In addition, students from every grade level have a chance to jump into something new-- whether you’re a freshman jumping right from middle school volleyball to high school, or a senior trying track for the first time. We all face the same difficulties, on and off the court. While New Haven cherishes our sports, we take great pride in our academics too. Without the athletes that make the lucky winning shot or serve the winning point, New Haven isn’t New Haven. Those athletes are the students that maintain and uphold “The Tradition of Excellence.”
How do these students keep New Haven a school of excellency? In New Haven, your participation in a sport does not determine how well you do in the classroom. Your effort creates a grade that reflects your hard work. When asked in a survey, 64% of 30 students said that they have not had any difficulty getting homework done although they are involved in sports and clubs. Another 53% of the same group of students claimed that they have little to no difficulty meeting deadlines or do not struggle to get their homework done.
Upon prompting students to enter an approximate time that they typically complete their homework and finally get to bed, results were across the board. Some say no later than 8:30 P.M., and others are as late as 2 A.M.!
While some students don’t have much difficulty getting their homework done or meeting deadlines, most lose a lot of sleep. Nevertheless, our cherished athletes have friendly words for incoming freshmen or current students of New Haven that are considering joining a club or sport.
Morgan Branson, sophomore, stated, “Get your homework done the day you get it, in case you have a late game before the day it’s due.”
“Do a lot and chase every opportunity you get to do something because it goes by fast,” Russell Pinnell, a current junior, expressed when prompted with the same question.
Wise words! My personal advice to any incoming freshman or middle school student would be to get involved. Don’t wait, just get on the ball and join!
Although high school may be extremely difficult for some, there are others who don’t want it to end. I asked the questions, “If you could change one thing about the amount of groups you were or are involved in, what would it be? Also, what would you like to remember when you graduate and are no longer a member of those groups?”
In response to these questions, a number of students said that they want to remember the feeling of crossing the finish line, or winning the game as a team. Another great number of students said that they want to remember and cherish the memories and the fun they had in high school.
Alexis Sidwell, sophomore, responded, “Being a part of a club or sport is an amazing experience, and I think that everyone should at least try it once because high school is only four years, so we should make the most of it.”
Even though high school will eventually come to an end, this is the place that they’ll always carry with them. Once a Shamrock, always a Shamrock.