Spring into your sport

With ten different spring sports at Central finding the right one can seem near impossible. The choices include lacrosse, tennis, track and field, baseball, softball, water polo, soccer, badminton, gymnastics, and volleyball all with esteemed varsity members and highly competitive teams. But which one is the best fit for you?

Out of the ten spring sports, water polo, badminton, gymnastics and volleyball and the first half of track season take place indoor, while lacrosse, tennis, baseball, softball, soccer, and the second half of track season take place outdoor.

While each of these sports is best for different types of people and requires a different set of skills, one underlying theme is clear in each, they require hard work. In order to play at the varsity level of any of these sports, athletes indicate that a substantial amount of time and practice will be necessary.

Each sport has a variety of levels to accomodate for the skill level of different players, and at the freshmen level most sports offer at least one no cut team. From hand-eye coordination to determination current players think anyone interested should try out. 

“Lacrosse is a really fun sport that a lot of people pick up during high school and anyone/everyone who wants to should try out,” said Shea Draddy, senior varsity lacrosse player.

Over the course of four years many athletes, sometimes with outside time commitment, are able to go through the program starting at the lowest team and working up to the varsity level; however, there are sports with difficult tryouts even for beginners. 

Some students think of boys tennis as one of the hardest sports for beginners to make the team because it has 23 state titles.

“To those who have never played before, I don’t mean to crush your bubble, but tryouts are very difficult, especially to those who have never played,” said Marcos Lopez, sophomore varsity tennis player.

Boys gymnastics has the second most state titles with nine, followed by girls and boys track, badminton, girls soccer, and girls lacrosse all having one. Mr. Jones, the athletic director, said beginners may want to start with track and field. 

“Long distance track and field is a no cut sport at HC but it is also not a ‘learn to run club’  which means if you can’t run over a few miles, it is probably not the sport for you,” said Taylor Wagner, sophomore varsity runner.

For boys with good hand-eye coordination, but not looking to try out for the exclusive tennis team, boys lacrosse is an option.

“Without looking at data, [the most dangerous spring sport] is most likely boys lacrosse because of the physical nature of the sport, but I do not think we have had numerous injuries in that sport,” Mr. Jones said. “Our trainers and coaches do a great job in injury prevention and in rehabilitation.”  

Each sport offers different benefits and experiences, and with the 13 boys and girls teams with 42 levels in the spring it is said by Mr. Jones to be one of the busiest times of the year with practices ranging from start times at 5:30 a.m. to ending at 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

“Give [a spring sport] a try, it’s only three months and you may have some fun, make some friends and be part of a great group of people,” Mr. Jones said.

From the athletes themselves:

Lacrosse: Shea Draddy

Years played? Since fourth grade.

Position: Midfield.

Team: Varsity.

Practice: Two hours long, sometimes longer.

Season: Late February to early June, including a spring break trip. This year it’s to Georgia to play out of state teams and some teams come to Central as well. Playoffs start towards the end of May and the last few years Central has been in the top three.

Teams: Four teams, varsity, junior varsity, sophomore and freshmen (no cut).

Best fit for: Different positions to fit wide range of people,  but very fast paced game, good reaction time can be essential.

Why you should do it: Fun with friends, super easy to make new friends, most who play have a great time and great season.

Tennis: Marcos Lopez

Years played: Nine.

Team: Varsity, plays matches for JV.

Practice: Depends on team ends between 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Season: Tryouts before spring break, and some practices before winter break (indoors before school).

Teams: Varsity, junior varsity 1, and junior varsity two (selected through three days of tryouts, round by round, those sent home on last day are cut from the team).

Best fit for: Those with at least some experience, tryouts are very difficult. Be prepared for three days of intense tryouts.

Why you should do it: Personal sport, in control of the game, either playing alone or with partner. Still win and lose as a team, encouragement during matches creates team feeling.


Track and Field: Taylor Wagner

Years played: Since eighth grade.

Events: Mainly 1600, also, 400, 800, 3200 (Distance).

Team: Varsity.

Practice: Differs based on team, frosh/soph and JV till 5:00 p.m., and varsity till 5:30 p.m. Workouts 30-50 minute runs, track workouts like repat 200s, and 1000s, etc. “Fartlek”s, on and off minute training, cross train once a week, 50 minutes on elliptical.

Season: January – May, depending on qualifications for sectionals and state.

Teams: Long distance, frosh/soph, junior story, and varsity. 

Best fit for: Individual sport, physical and mental strength as well as dedication required, best for very determined people, want to work hard and have fun. Be able to push through on best and worst days.

Why you should do it: Hard work will result in extremely rewarding results. Great for mind and body in completing workouts. Getting PRs in metes and really pushing yourself creates pride, instant friends in nice atmosphere.


Baseball: Scott Pitts

Years played: Since age four.

Position: Pitcher and first base.

Team: Sophomore team hopeful.

Practice: Two hours long, every day without game, except Sundays, hit, field, and condition.

Season: A little over two months.

Teams: There are two freshmen teams (no cut), one sophomore team and a varsity team. These teams are selected through a tryout that lasts multiple days, before or after school.

Best fit for: Those with good thinking/instant execution, and patience, only one shot to help team.

Why you should do it: Outside and don’t have to wear a ton of pads. Fun to play with friends and good feeling to win because of the difficulty of the game.


Softball: Kayleigh Hester

Years played: Two years (and played when younger).

Position: Second base and shortstop.

Team: Junior varsity.

Practice: After school.

Season: Preseason starts in February and season starts in March with early morning and after school practices as well as games.

Teams: Varsity and junior varsity.

Best fit for: Good hand-eye coordination and able to run.

Why you should do it: The team is close knit and very fun.


Water Polo: Maggie Neil

Years played: Four.

Position: Wing or driver.

Team: Varsity.

Practice: Hour and a half, scrimmage, drills, practice reading plays, and swim practice.

Season: Late February to early May.

Teams: Varsity and junior varsity usually no cut unless too many people tryout.

Best fit for: Those with competitive edge and aggressive side.

Why you should do it: Crazy and grueling sport, very unique, fun to be involved in something not many play.


Soccer: Maggie Regan

Years played: Since Kindergarten.

Position: Forward (winger) sometimes attacking center midfielder.

Team: Varsity hopeful.

Practice: Two hours after school.

Season: Two months.

Teams: Varsity, junior varsity, sophomore, freshmen. 

Best fit for: People with a willing determination and a strong sense of competitiveness. Take seriously and very fun because of the creativity you can use to identify yourself on the field.

Why you should do it: Unlike any other sport, all four teams are very close with one another, and environment is different from club team, lots of work but worth it with the new friendships and mentors.


Gymnastics: Eric Miscamera

Years played: Two years.

Position: All arounder.

Team: Varsity team hopeful.

Practice: [We practice] 3:15- 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., including stretching, going to three or six events, and then conditioning.

Season: A little over two months.

Teams: Freshman, JV, and varsity teams, no cut.

Best fit for: Those who want to work hard and try new things. Hard, but very rewarding, those who aren’t into typical ball sport, or trying to get more muscle.

Why you should do it: Has one of the most diverse and close knit group of kids at Central.


Volleyball: Ameen Asbahi

Years played: One.

Position: Right side of front row, spike ball.

Team: Junior varsity.

Practice: Most days after school for a few hours, running drills and scrimmages.

Season: A little over two months.

Teams: Varsity, junior varsity, freshman A and B.

Best fit for: Good hand-eye coordination, high verticals, hard workers, and can commit time to trying to improve.

Why you should do it: Fast paced and fun, not as big as other sports, time to chill and form bonds with teammates.


Badminton: Saba Ali

Years played: One.

Position: Single and double matches.

Team: Junior varsity hopeful.

Practice: Monday – Saturday two hours after school.

Season: Two months.

Teams: Freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity.

Best fit for: No specific type of person, good fit for anyone.

Why you should do it: Relatively small compared to other teams; in the short season you are able to get close with everyone.