SENIORS, SIGNING OFF: Athletic community spirit is strong

Every year, graduating seniors on The Octagon write a final piece to say goodbye to Country Day. This is one of nine pieces by the class of ’22.

Since the moment I was tasked with writing this story, I have been struggling to settle on a topic. The prompt, after all, is the most difficult prompt you can be given: write about anything you want.

After much deliberation, however, I figured I would write about sports, pretty fitting considering that I am the sports editor.

The beautiful thing about sports is their ability to be so diverse. In just one game of soccer, 90 minutes, I have felt pain, anger and frustration all soon followed by joy, exhilaration and pure bliss.

In the past year alone, I found myself at both emotional highs and lows in my life all due to the impact of sports.

From soccer to tchoukball, I have enjoyed and learned from each sport I’ve played (mostly). After 14 years at Country Day and 11 years of P.E., I have explored a wide variety of different athletic activities from around the world. And still, what I cherish most from my early years in P.E. are the friendships I formed along the way, which is where the rest of this story is going to go: my life and how I remember it through sports.

My early memories from Pre-K to about fifth grade are clouded, but I do remember the fun that I shared with friends during recess. The sport we played depended on the season and available equipment.

In the fall we had baseball, winter was football and spring was soccer. Outside of school, I played little league baseball and recreational soccer, but that never matched the lunchtime rivalries my friends and I shared or the neverending competitions in P.E.

Going into middle school, I developed strong connections with awesome friends through different sports we played together and memories we made. In middle school, however, I made two changes to my sporting career: participating in my first school sport and joining a gym.

From sixth grade to eighth grade, I was on the school’s co-ed soccer team. That same year, I joined Aquila Fitness, a CrossFit gym in East Sacramento that my mom had attended for several years. I may sound like a broken record, but both of these new groups allowed me to develop new relationships that influenced me during those years, more so at my new gym.

I was then and am still the youngest member of my gym. Many of the members have gone out of their way to teach me new things, whether those be gym or life related, they’ve all succeeded in changing my outlook on life and changing me as a person. Having this group of adults around to support and advise me has been a very positive part of my life.

High school was where I really settled in as a person. The majority of my closest friends from lower and middle school joined me for four more years together where, once again, we would be further connected through playing sports.

I was back playing baseball for the first time since little league; I continued my Country Day soccer career; and, I maintained my membership at my gym.

The connections I made through sports benefitted me both in and out of sports. My coaches, who were often times also my teachers, had already developed good relationships with me before I even stepped foot in their classes. All of these memories and years have led up to now, my final days of high school and the end of my high school sports career.

My memories from this year have put me at both emotional highs and lows in my athletic career. My fondest memory, one of the happiest moments that I can remember, is winning the soccer section championship with my friends. I have never felt happier playing any sport; it is truly an unmatched feeling.

After missing two seasons of baseball due to COVID-19, we were finally back for my senior year. I was beyond excited, so ready to end my high school career with my friends. In our first game, however, I dislocated my kneecap. I was done for the season — I didn’t even get to finish one whole game. I have never felt more destroyed by a sport, but that’s the beauty
of it, right?

Sports are meant to be enjoyed, but you can easily feel both at the top of the world and the lowest you’ve ever felt. The communities that I have built are always there for me. No matter how a sport makes me feel, I’m always surrounded by people that I know care.

As much as I love competing, the communities that I’ve built are what always make me want to continue playing.

— By Miles Morrow

Originally published in the May 24 issue of The Octagon.

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