Senior year is always an exciting time as students prepare to wrap up high school and move on to college. Senior year involves a lot of lasts, and for athletes, they want to make their last seasons the best ones. I chose to interview seniors in different sports and let them reflect on their past seasons for Howell athletics.
Kendal Bayer- Softball (Calvin College)
Softball has always been Kendal’s passion. From playing softball at an early age she entered her sophomore year making varsity and playing first base and outfield for the Highlanders. Kendal was a major contributor to the team her junior year batting third and playing first base. She received All District 2012 and is a MHSAA scholar athlete as a junior.
“I’m going to miss my teammates a lot. Over the years we have all gotten so close and for sure the best memories were the team bondings,” says Bayer.
Entering her senior year Bayer was voted as one of the captains on her team. Before the season started she automatically had high goals for not only her team but herself.
“I worked out alot more to become stronger and faster than I was before in order to make this year my best,” says Bayer.
Bayer looks to receive her pre-architecture degree from Calvin College while also playing softball for the Knights.
I’ve learned that no matter what give everything you have on the field, plus more. You can’t go back so you might as well make sure you made the very best of it,” says Bayer.
Pete Cender- Football, Track, Basketball (Air Force)
Without a doubt the triple sport athlete. Peter Cender, is the best athlete in his class. Cender received his varsity letter in track his freshman year and was moved up to varsity his sophomore year for both football and basketball. With Cender being as talented as he is, many scholarships were offered for multiple sports, however Cender choose to stick with football after signing with the Air Force Academy. At the Air Force Cender looks to major in business management.
“My favorite memory from high school was making it to the Regional finals for football my sophomore year. It was exciting that we made it that far,” says Cender.
Cender recieved 1st Team All League, and 1st Team All County honors for football. For track he made All-State in Discus. In basketball, Cender made 1st Team All League, and 1st Team All County.
Entering his senior year Cender had a lot of goals he had set for himself and in order to achieve those goals he started running and working out a lot more.
“My advice for your senior year is to go as hard as possible because you never know when your last play is going to be.”
Natalie Stone- Track, Swimming (Oakland University)
Natalie Stone has always had a passion for running. While running both cross country and track in middle school, Stone decided to stick with track when it came time for high school. Earning her varsity letter as a freshman, Stone competes in the 400 meter dash, the 4×4 relay, and the high jump. Stone earned All County Track Team, was a state qualifier in the 4×4 and was nominated captain her senior year.
“Entering my final season I’ve tried keeping a positive attitude and treating every meet like it will be my last. I don’t take anything for granted, I make every practice and meet count,” replies Stone.
Stone says that she will surely miss the meets and being able to hangout with her teammates. Next fall, Stone will be attending Oakland University to study microbiology and hopes to continue playing sports in the intramural league.
Lance Lys- Basketball, Soccer (Washtenaw CC)
Lance Lys was a duel threat in two sports, soccer and basketball. Lys played varsity partially for freshman and sophomore year while played full on varsity for his junior and senior year, starting as the Howell goalie. Lys was pulled up for districts for basketball sophomore year and varsity for junior and senior year and played forward for the highlanders. Lys planned for his final season leaving it all on the court and the soccer field.
“My favorite memories were beating Brighton 3 times in basketball senior year and going to the district game, also being able to play with my best friends,” says Lys.
Lys plans to attend Washtenaw Community College then transfer to the University of Michigan to specialize in physical therapy.
“My biggest advice is to leave it all on the court and give it all you have cuz it could be your last chance,” says Lys.
Claire Garrison- Soccer (Western Michigan University)
Claire Garrison is the definition of the ultimate soccer player. Spending a majority of her time practicing the sport she loves, she has stepped up this season into a leadership role to guide the highlanders to a successful season. Garrison plays forward, center, and midfield and managed to achieve first team all league last year as a junior.
“Soccer has always been my passion and entering my final season I wanted to make it one to remember. I want to help lead my team to one of the best seasons that Howell soccer has ever had,” says Garrison.
With high hopes for her team Garrison continues to push the team at practice and also her competitors. Garrison plans to attend Western Michigan University to major in nutrition and minor in exercise science. She is considering the opportunity to walk on to play soccer.
“With your final season you want to remember to work hard and leave it all on the field, that way when the time comes for it to end you have no regrets,” says Garrison.
Bryan Stroinski- Swimming (Kings University)
Bryan Stroinski has spend many hours in the pool becoming the best swimmer he can possibly be. All his hard work landed him four years on the varsity swim team where he competes in multiple events. These include the 50 Yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breastroke, 200 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle relay. Stroinski is an accomplished swimmer setting the 100 butterfly record, being a four time state qualifier, two time all conference, two time all county relay team. Coming into his final season Stroinski prepared not only physically but mentally.
“I trained in the offseason both physically and mentally. The physical side is important but if you have a weak mind you won’t perform well,” says Stroinski.
Stroinski will be attending Kings University in Bristol, TN where he plans to become a sports psychologist or physical therapist while also swimming for Kings University.
“Have fun with your last season. When they say that it goes fast. It does. Make it last. Have no regrets and just go and enjoy the sport you love to play,” says Stroinski.
Andrea Render- Basketball (Albion College)
Andrea Render has been a dominate and game changing post player for the lady highlanders basketball team. With receiving KLAA All Conference and First Team All Country her junior year, Render had high hopes entering her senior year. Unfortunately, a season changing injury put her on the bench for most of her senior year. Render never quit, she came back half way through the season but once again, injured her knee finishing her senior basketball season.
“I learned that you have to always give it 100%. You never know when your last game will be. When it’s your last season you have to make it your best,” says Render.
Render will be attending Albion College next fall and plans on playing basketball for the lady Britons. Render plans to study nursing.
When typical athletes think about what it takes to be great they think about being physically fit and knowing their sport.
Every spare moment they are working to improve their game. They practice and then practice some more, but often they forget one of the key factors in athletic success, nutrition.
Robert Kleinwaks, who is an expert performance coach and who has studied sports medicine and sports nutrition for over 20 years, now speaks all over the country and even around the world. He visited Howell High School on Wednesday, March 6, to share his knowledge to Howell’s athletes on how to better their athletic performance.
Dr. Kleinwaks says, “I was meant to teach athletes and their coaches the nutritional and mental steps in becoming the world’s best competitors. What I have learned about nutrition and its effect on physical and mental performance, is something that needs to be learned by each and every athlete and coach who wants to bring their game to the next level.”
Kleinwaks focuses on what he refers to as a sports triad. This includes the mental, physical, and nutritional aspects of sports.
There are several important steps to being mentally focused before game time. It may sound cliché, but the number one key to success is defining your goals as an athlete.
Start by writing short-term as well as long-term goals. It’s vital that you realize there is no such thing as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames.
Another phrase often heard by athletes is, “It’s not the will to win, it’s the desire to prepare to win.” Dr. Kleinwaks preaches this maxim in hopes that it will help young people realize that passion and hustle can beat out talent if talent doesn’t have passion and hustle.
Relating to the mental part of any sport, short memory is extremely important. This helps athletes to forget negative things that happen and focus on the positives. This leads straight into “positive self talk”. When you tell yourself that you’re going to miss that shot or you’re going miss that goal, most likely, you will. When you trust in your own talents it’s amazing how much it can help improve your game.
One uncommon way of practicing is called visualizing. Athletes do this usually by closing their eyes and practicing in their head. Most often gymnasts, dancers, and athletes that have so called “routines” do this. However, you can benefit from it in several other sports as well. For example, shooting that shot that goes in every single time, or that perfect pitch over and over.
As said by Dr. Kleinwaks, “Always practice with game intensity. It’s not how long you play, but your intensity and mindset.” He calls this “PEP”: positive self-talk, enthusiasm, and present time consciousness.
Ever have those days where you feel like you could just run forever, and then the very next day you feel out of shape and don’t understand why?
Not to worry. Most athletes would agree that this has happened to them one time or another. The reason this happens can vary depending on your diet.
The two main purposes of food are to give energy and supply proper nutrition to our bodies.
Ever wonder why you don’t want to eat right before you’re active? One reason is called gastric blood shunting. Sounds scary, right? It’s actually quite simple. When you eat a big meal, blood goes to your stomach to help you digest that food, making you more tired.
We constantly hear that bananas are one of the best foods you can eat before playing a sport. It’s true though. Because bananas take zero energy for your body to digest, that means no energy is lost from eating it. Eating just one banana gives you 1 ½ to 2 hours of pure energy.
However, bananas aren’t the only good things to eat on game day. All types of fruits and vegetables are great because many of them are extremely easy for the body to digest.
Another important part of a balanced diet is being sure not to mis-combine foods. Dr. Kleinwaks tells athletes they should never combine proteins with carbohydrates. This is because proteins take longer to digest. If you eat them together, your body will choose to break down and digest the carbohydrates first and leave the protein you ate in your system for up to 48 hours!
For the most balanced diet that will give you the optimal amount of energy, combine protein and vegetables, carbs and vegetables, and eat fruit alone.
This leads us into a common myth believed by athletes: are protein bars good for you? The answer is no. Protein bars are hard to digest, loaded with sugar, and most of all, mis-combined! They contain high amounts of both protein and carbohydrates.
It’s unbelievable what you can sometimes find out to be truth or myth about things such as diet and ways to become a better, more focused athlete. Always be sure to listen to new ideas and research them if you’re curious; you may be surprised by what you find.
The majority of sports not only are active during their specific season, but also in other seasons. Some sports even go year around.
In 2007, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) decided to establish a “dead period” of seven days for high school sports. This was sanctioned so athletes, as well as coaches, are able to have free time and to get a break.
Some schools also use this time to re-do gym floors or make other needed changes which would normally interfere with athletes.
Although not every high school in Michigan adopted the dead period, most of them did. The first week of July is when many of the schools have their dead week. The fourth of July is often included during this time.
The rules are simple. During the seven-day period of the school district’s choice, coaches are not allowed to interact in athletic settings with students in their school district from seventh to 12th grade in any sport. Schools also cannot allow others to use their facilities to do what school coaches could not.
Summer softball and baseball teams who play in non-MHSAA leagues or tournaments are exceptions to this summer dead week.
“In a time where kids are pulled in a hundred different directions, it’s nice let them have time with their family and to get away and not have to worry about all the percussions of being on a team,” says head coach of the varsity boys basketball team in Fenton and the freshman boys baseball coach at Howell, Tim Olszewski.
Many people have been in favor of extending the high school dead period to ten or fourteen days. They believe that athletes and coaches need even more time to be with their families and time to recover and rest their bodies.
There is also a preseason downtime period. Some people believe that this period is a dead week as well, but it is not.
The preseason downtime falls before all autumn, winter, and spring sports begin. Sports cannot have open gyms from six to 14 consecutive days prior to the start of the season. Coaches can still arrange workouts and other opportunities to practice as long as it is not an open gym.
“It’s nice to have a week off from going so hard so often. Taking a family vacation is always good. I still have to train a little bit though so I don’t get out of shape,” says senior athlete Tyler Lassitter.
On Wednesday, February 6, five Howell athletes signed on the dotted line and sealed the deal for their academic and athletic future. Peter Cender, Scott Wetzel, Nate Hughes, and Carl Pietila all signed for football while Megan Gebhard signed for volleyball.
“I think it is great for our program and these players to get the opportunity to play at the next level. I think it speaks to these players’ dedication and love for the sport of football. I am excited to watch and hear about their progress and achievements at the next level,” says Howell football coach Aaron Metz.
Three sport letter athlete, Pete Cender, signed to become a Falcon at Air Force. Cender, the Highlander’s tight end and linebacker was out a majority of the season with a knee injury.
Cender had 13 yards per catch this season. Cender had many Division One offers but chose to stick with Air Force.
Scott Wetzel, the 6’3” linebacker and tight end for the Highlanders signed with Saginaw Valley State University.
“Saginaw Valley is a great school. I love their football team and they have a really nice football facility. It’s a great program,” states Wetzel.
Wetzel had 399 receiving yards this year, averaging 44.3 yards a game. He stepped up while battling injuries and was a major contributor to the Highlander’s success.
“I have had one goal since I was a little kid and that was to play college football. I feel so good that I have the opportunity to play. I’m very excited,’ says Wetzel who had numerous offers from most of the GLIAC schools and two MAC schools.
Wetzel finished his high school career receiving awards, including first team all KLAA and all-state honorable mention.
Nate Hughes had a hard time deciding between Findlay and Notre Dame College, but he decided on Findlay Tuesday.
“I decided on Findlay because I want to play in the GLIAC and win football games,” says Hughes.
The 6’1” lineman played a key role this season on both sides of the ball. Hughes, dominating in offense and defense, received All County for the past two years and made KLAA Honorable Mention All League.
Along with Notre Dame College, Wittenburg University and Adrian College showed interest in Hughes.
“I’m excited to play at the next level. I’ve been playing ball for 11 years so for all that hard work to be worth something really means a lot to me,” says Hughes.
Carl Pietila, a 6’4” offensive lineman and defensive lineman, committed to Michigan Tech.
“I feel very lucky to have this opportunity. Tech is a great engineering school,” Pietila states.
Pietila plans to go into biomedical engineering. The outdoors feature and close family helped Pietila make the decision.
“I mainly picked Michigan Tech because I have family that goes there and I really like the area,” says Pietila.
Pietila received First Team All-KLAA this year.
“I think all of these players have a great work ethic and passion for football. They are blessed with outstanding athleticism and good size that will allow them to compete at the college level,” says Metz.
Along with the football players, dominate senior Captain in the KLAA, Megan Gebhard has always dreamed of playing college volleyball.
“My whole life I have dreamed of playing volleyball in college. Recruiting at times was extremely stressful but worth the end result. MIT’s woman team won the NEWMAC conference last year and I am excited to be a part of a competitive team,” says Gebhard.
Gebhard has received numerous volleyball awards including MIVCA All-Region, Volleyball 1st Team All-County, 1st Team All-Conference and Most Valuable Player Award for Howell High School. The 6’1” outside hitter is not only known for her leadership on the court, but also in the classroom. Gebhard has taken numerous Advanced Placement classes and has succeeded through the number of awards she has received in the classroom.
Gebhard will be a student athlete working toward a computer science degree from one of the top technical schools in the world.
“I plan to major in computer science. Technology is our future almost every problem is turning into a computing solution.”
Gebhard was originally looking at the University of Michigan but couldn’t pass up the opportunity at MIT.
“The people there are passionate and incredibly driven. I want to be challenged, I want to live in a city, I want to meet people from all over the world. MIT is notorious for computer science. I want to have professors that are admiring and inspirational. No doubt about it I am terrified of picking up and moving fourteen hours away. I have so many friends that I don’t want to say goodbye to but I don’t think I can pass up an opportunity like this,” says Gebhard.
The first snowfall of the year means plow trucks hard at work, people shoveling, and snowmen being created. However, senior Noah Eros is only focused on one thing: snowboarding.
Thanks to Michigan’s typical snowfalls, Eros can be found preparing and training for the upcoming Boardercross season.
The sport of Boardercross is not quite the same as just snowboarding. Boardercross is a snowboarding competition in which a group of snowboarders, usually consisting of four, begin at the top of a hill and go head to head in the race to reach the finish line first.
Since age six, Eros has had a passion for snowboarding. During his junior year, he was introduced to the Howell High School Boardercross team by a close friend.
“My friend Amanda Franklin introduced me to the Boardercoss team, and I’m definitely glad I became involved,” states Eros.
Boardercross consists of three different levels: Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. Charlie is a race level where points are not accounted for. In both Alpha and Bravo, the races are based off an amount of points, which can get competitive between the snowboarders.
Each year, a few snowboarders from the high school league push further in the sport and participate in a separate league known as the U.S.A.S.A (United States of America Snowboarding Association). Through the season, riders strive to qualify for the National Championship.
Eros placed and received an invitation to the National Championship (held last year in Colorado), but did not attend due to his priority being set on a trip to Haiti.
“Being involved with the U.S.A.S.A can become a bit expensive. The traveling around, money and payment of dues, and time spent became a bit overwhelming for me,” adds Eros.
This year Eros is the one of the top guys on the Boardercross team, based off of skill and placement within the races.
Chris Vest, coach of the Howell High School Boardercross team can agree that Eros’ skills have shown improvement.
“Noah is an overall great kid, no questions asked. Not only is he a great rider, but he’s a quality, team rider. He always asks good questions, which has helped increase his overall knowledge of the sport. Since joining the high school Boardercross team just last year for the very first time, I have seen great improvement. His overall confidence has gone up, his knowledge has increased, and his skills have become great. Noah is a great kid and we love having him as part of the team,” states Vest.
Being in shape is imperative for Boardercross. Eros typically focuses on abdominal and muscle exercises, involving pull-ups, sit-ups, and additional leg muscle exercises. Practicing with the snowboard on the hills is the most important exercise because it gives the snowboarders a feel of the hills before a race.
Eros has a great deal of supporters that encourage him through his Boardercross experience. His mother, Mindy Eros, is just one of them.
“Noah has been snowboarding since early elementary school. When I watch him race, I’m nervous, but I absolutely love it. I try to attend as many races as I possibly can. He’s having a great season this year. Noah received a new snowboard that is more firm and race-built than the previous one, which gives him a bit of an advantage this year. I love to watch him improve each day, and as a mother, I am always proud of him,” Ms. Eros.
Whenever Eros isn’t busy with snowboarding or school, you can find him hard at work at Town N Country Bikes, in Brighton, Michigan. Town N Country is a business established to help customers seeking help with their bikes or snowboards.
“My job usually consists of waxing snowboards and fixing bikes and bike parts. It’s an absolute awesome job,” says Eros.
According to Eros, working the job at Town N Country Bikes is beneficial to his knowledge and time spent with Boardercross.
“Well,it’s funny, actually, because my boss bought the Town N Country shop from my Boardercross coach. It’s pretty easy to work around and still be able to attend practice. Since it’s a snowboard and bike shop, my boss understands and is lenient about my sport. It’s definitely laid back, which is awesome,” states Eros.
Eros plans on attending Northern Michigan University this year, to major in DNR related studies.
“Sometimes I feel as though Boardercross [goes unnoticed]…and it’s surprising how so many people don’t even know what Boardercross is. We need more people to join our team, to make us achieve even greater. If I was given the opportunity to go back, I wish I would’ve joined Boardercross my freshman year. I definitely would’ve joined sooner,” adds Eros. “It’s a fun sport to be involved with and the team bond is great.”
The fire and passion towards a sport comes from deep within one’s heart. Howell senior Nate Butka has such love for the sport that it has slowly grown to be a crucial part of his life.
Basketball has been Butka’s game since he was a child. It all started when his father signed him up for a recreation league in first grade. Even at a young age, he had a love for the game.
Travel basketball for Butka began in the fifth grade. He played for the Howell Heat up until eighth grade. In high school, he has continued to play each of his four years.
“Basketball is my passion. It’s just what I live for,” says Butka.
Every athlete has his or her share of injuries. Butka has unfortunately gotten many more than the average player. He has missed out on a vast amount of playing from injuries.
During Butka’s junior varsity year, he suffered a broken ankle. Through the recovery of this injury, Butka worked hard to stay mentally strong and push through. Butka kept working towards being healthy again and playing varsity basketball.
“Getting so many injuries slowed me down a bit and put me behind the other kids, but I had to keep working through it and work harder than everyone else,” says Butka.
Butka is currently on the Howell High School varsity basketball team. This past year, the team has gone through a coaching change and has lost many key players. Nick Simon has taken over as the head coach.
“The atmosphere this year is great, a lot better than last year. Simon is awesome. I love my team, and I really like how the season has been going so far. I love having such a hyped-up student section this year, too. The support they show is crazy and it helps us out a ton,” says Butka.
Senior Tyler Lassitter was on the varsity basketball team last year with Butka. Lassitter was not able to play due to an injury. Making a comeback at the end of the season, Lassitter got the chance to play with Butka.
“Nate is a very hard worker. He always hustled and pushed himself. I have always seen that in him, and I still do today when I go watch the boys games,” says Lassitter.
The game of basketball, as well as any sport, can teach many lessons. Not just for athletics, but for everyday life as well. Butka has learned important traits from basketball: teamwork, respect, pride, and possessing a competitive nature.
“I take pride in my defense. It’s a huge part of the game. It has taught me to take pride in your work and in the things you do,” says Butka.
Physical therapy is Butka’s choice of a future occupation. He would like to start off at a community college then go to Oakland University to finish.
Continuing to play basketball is college would be a dream for Butka. He just wants to keep playing the games he loves.
College and professional level sports serve as the pinnacle of all skill to high school athletes everywhere. Butka looks up to the Michigan State basketball team, as well as their head coach Tom Izzo.
“Basketball gives me something to look forward to everyday and to keep my mind off of things,” says Butka.
Many of us athletes out there always have the struggles of talking to college coaches. Some athletes are too nervous, and some think it’s unnecessary. It’s concerning, considering there are many good athletes out there who can solidly contribute to some college programs.
You can think of any high school sport and there is always a college out there looking for a player that plays that sport. College coaches are simply too busy to talk to every single player. It’s really up to you, the player, to talk to the coaches yourself.
First things first, you’re going to want to find a list of schools, maybe somewhere in the range of ten to twenty schools, that you may want to attend, and research them. You can always look on the Internet and check out the majors, what the campus is like, and you may be able to gain some interest in a school.
Next, once you’ve found a certain amount of schools that you may want to attend, find the mailing address and/or email address to their admissions office, and get ready to send them something. That something should just be a letter/email expressing your interest in the school and that you would like to obtain information about admission. Now when you do this, you’re going to want to be as professional as possible and try to not be casual, you always want to make a good first impression.
Now that you got all the hard stuff out of the way, try and find a coach’s contact information, which will probably be an e-mail address. Once you get this, you are going to want to contact them and say that you’ve already sent a letter to the school and that you’re interested. Don’t forget to ask for anything that they may be able to e-mail back to you (dates for camps, showcases, visits). Hopefully the coach will reply, and you will get the information you asked for.
Congratulations, you are now in the recruiting process. First and foremost, don’t ruin your chances with a school over Facebook or Twitter posts, please. All of these coaches that e-mailed you back will start to talk to you now, and coaches will literally be courting you to come to their respective schools. Just be calm and look at what your heart desires, because in the end, it’s all about how you’re going to spend your next four years, not how the coach spends it. Don’t forget, any money schools can give you in a scholarship is a good thing, too.
As you progress during this phase, you’re naturally going to start narrowing your list down to the few schools that you like.
Once you finally pick your school, don’t look back and don’t make any regrets. Now it’s your time to shine and to make your dreams come true.
Completing four years of high school comes with more than just academic pressure for young athletes around the map. The tension and struggle towards getting scouted and finding a college team to play for is a crucial task for many athletes. It’s difficult to know what to expect and how to get that one college scout you are aiming for to see something in you that nobody else has.
“Really it’s getting yourself out there, getting noticed and contacting coaches that is the most difficult part,” senior Nate Butka, a varsity basketball player, said.
The recruiting process is one that can get very complicated, whether you are playing football or lacrosse. Any sport being participated in is a fairly easy process, regardless of what school is being considered. A smaller Division II school, such as Grand Valley State University, has the same scouting process as a larger Big Ten school like the University of Michigan.
“You have to contact them, they will not contact you. But with every school it’s all the same. They all have the same process. They will not contact you until a certain date, so it is up to you to contact them,” Butka said.
Athletes are to contact the college athletic department and inform them of their playing schedule. Scouts will not respond to the players; they just show up at a game. A player’s high school coach is a great source of information on the scouting process as well.
Being scouted isn’t just based on athletic ability. Most colleges want to view your academic ability as well. Most scholarships are based on more than just sports. Schools want people who strive academically as well as athletically to be the best that they can be. Even if the skill level is remarkable in the sport, if the letter grade doesn’t show, neither will the player on the field.
“The number one thing they look at when they scout you is academics. Division III probably won’t even consider you if the academics aren’t there,” senior Andrea Render, a varsity basketball player, said.
“Keep your studies up. There is a chance for free education and that to me is the biggest thing in the process,” Butka said
Regardless of the strenuous process and pressure most athletes go through, many will continue to pursue superior athleticism in college level sports and strive to make their dreams come true. Getting scouted by a school is said to be a onetime feeling that can never be replaced. Be ready, be prepared and impress the scouts to achieve the lifelong dream of playing for your school of choice.
“If you really want to go far, put a lot of time and effort into your sport. Advancing to the college level will change you as a person and it will improve your skill level in the sport,” Render said.
Pride, glory and remembrance are some of the things athletes Paige Blythe, Alex Caladrino, Jack Herndal and Manya Schaub are feeling right now after being inducted to the Howell High School Hall of Fame. The athletes chosen have shown the drive to succeed and have either won or placed in state championships.
Blythe medaled at the gymnastic state championships. Many people have influenced and helped her, but one person stuck out a lot to her.
“The person who has inspired me the most in gymnastics is Amanda Pompilius. She is probably the hardest and most dedicated person I know, and she inspired me every day to be just like her,” Blythe said.
Blythe also wanted to acknowledge encouragement from home.
“My parents have been a huge help in my sports career. They always push me to do my best and they help me follow my dreams.” Blythe said.
Not only was her family a huge help in her success but a special coach helped as well.
“The biggest help though was my coach from club gymnastics. Coach Mel made me fall in love with the sport of gymnastics and he pushed me the most out of everyone to be the best I could be. He was my coach for four years and is by far the person that has helped me the most to become the gymnast I am today. Even though he is no longer my coach he still drives and motivates me in all of my sports,” Blythe stated.
Another person following the same footsteps as Blythe is Manya Schaub. Schaub has been successful and medaled in a state championship for the swim and dive team. Schaub is from Hamburg, Germany. Her reaction to being put into the Hall of Fame was probably similar to many of the other athletes.
“When I found out I’ve been chosen for the Hall of Fame I was really happy. It’s a huge honor to be in the Hall of Fame for me!”
The teams there and here have the same drive and determination.
“With my team, here and back home, team spirit is the best motivation for me, and I know I couldn’t have done all the hard practice without them.” Schaub Said.
With her success and passion, Schaub sends a very useful message to other up and coming athletes.
“Keep your head high, know why you are doing it and most important love what you are doing, and have fun!”
The Hall of Fame is viewed and admired not only by the school but by the community as well. There is a lot of work and dedication put in by athletes to make it to this point. Athletic Director, Dan Hutcheson, believes the hall of fame provides a goal for remarkable athletes to achieve.
“I love it. It’s an inspiration to the school. It makes athletes think, I want to be up there, and it pushes them to achieve at their highest level possible.”
Caladrino was added into the Hall of Fame for wrestling, Herndel for bowling, and the Equestrian B team for winning a state championship.
A lot of successful teams and athletes come out of Howell High. The Hall Of Fame ceremony being held to honor the athletes this year will be held on June 21 at 6 pm. The Hall Of Fame reminds every athlete what it truly means to be a Highlander.
Transitioning from high school sports to living a healthy, active lifestyle can be really difficult. Once my ski season was over, I was unsure of what to do next. Well, even if your high school sports career has come to an end, there are still many ways to stay athletically competitive.
One way for athletes to continue their competitive spirit, is by signing up for an athletic event. Whether it’s running a 5k or competing in a triathlon, having an event to prepare for will keep you motivated. The main reason many high school athletes do events such as these is for the competition. Many athletes love the competition of whatever sport they pursue, so being able to find ways to stay competitive is important. For example Howell’s Aquatic Center held an indoor triathlon for athletes last month, as a way for them to start getting ready for the triathlon season.
Not only can you sign up for a specific competition, but there are also many adult leagues to join. The Howell Recreation Center offers many adult sports leagues, such as basketball, softball, volleyball, and soccer. Adult leagues are a great way to continue playing your sport competitively, even if you are no longer in high school sports.
Senior Gabrielle Montesanti plans on swimming for Kalamazoo College. “It’s important to me to stay active because being healthy influences everything I do. If I don’t exercise, I can’t sleep and I can’t stay focused at school,” explained Montesanti.
Also it’s beneficial for athletes to work out with one another. This can be done either with a friend or with people competing in similar sports.There are a variety of ways to go about this. Either joining a gym or just finding somewhere outdoors where you can train outdoors are great options.
“When I’m not in the swim season, I try to stay as active as possible,” commented Montesanti. “I run, although it’s not as natural for me as swimming. I lift weights and use dry land workouts given to me from previous coaches. I also use the time to set goals and get mentally tougher so that I can step up to the challenges of the upcoming season.”
Bre’Ana Strong, former Howell varsity basketball player and current college basketball player, is a great example of how just going to the gym will help with an athlete’s transition. “I do a lot of weight lifting and try to keep up with my cardio to stay in shape for basketball,” commented Strong.
If you don’t have anyone who would want to join your daily workouts, taking a class is always an option. The Howell Aquatic Center offers a variety of classes ranging from land aerobics, water aerobics, strength training, and yoga. If you wanted to go sports-specific there is the Howell Trimaster, which works on the swimming aspect of a triathlon. Also there are various cycling and spinning classes that one could join. The newest option that will be starting in April is the women’s OneTribe group. What that is, is multi-disciplinary sports training for women. It is a great way to meet new people and to stay motivated. Many colleges also have different groups or gym memberships that students can join at an inexpensive price.
If taking a class isn’t your thing, then plenty of colleges offer intramural sports. Whether its flag football, beach volleyball, or soccer intramurals are a great way to stay active and to have a great time.
“If I could give high school athletes any advice, it would be to appreciate every moment. Even those practices where all you do is run, appreciate that you have the opportunity to play the game and to have teammates that are like family to you,” advised Strong.
Whether it’s taking a class, playing on a team, or just going working out on your own there are plenty of ways for high school athletes to continue their athletic lifestyle after high school. Figure out what works best for you and continue the healthy lifestyle started in high school athletics.