Students lined up on the brightly lit auditorium stage, smiling with their varsity certificates in hand as they waited patiently for parents to take photos. Cheers and claps from teammates fill the room as each athlete is called up to the stage. Athletes are given a chance to reflect back on their season and to be credited for all their hard work.
On Monday, May 9th, all varsity athletes were being awarded with certificates and letters for their accomplishments in their sport. This was a special night to not only honor the athletes, but to bring them all together in effort to celebrate each other.
After facing several challenges to make the baseball team freshman and sophomore year, junior Ian Sanmoogan was awarded his first varsity letter.
“Getting my first varsity letter was kind of a big deal for me and a huge honor, considering it was the first sport I played for University,” Snamoogan said. “I had to overcome the challenges of people doubting me and underestimating my ability to play baseball, I worked hard and came out on top, and I’m glad I put in that extra effort to get where I wanted to be.”
Freshman Rachel Kenis received a varsity letter for soccer, and also played JV volleyball and softball. Kenis says her goal is to continue being a tri-athlete and be on varsity for all three teams.
“Being a freshman and receiving a varsity letter was really memorable,” Kenis said. “I was proud and felt extra special due to meeting such amazing people on multiple different teams. I work hard during off seasons and with travel teams which help me be successful in high school. Also, I had to work on time management because there is a lot of school work involved too which required me to make adjustments along the way.”
Sophomore Madison Leake has six varsity letters for golf, soccer and track. Her older sister, Abby Leake, graduated in class of 2016 and had 11 varsity letters. Leake says her goal is to have 12 varsity letters by the end of her senior year.
“My goal is to have more varsity letters than my sister because I’m really competitive and it’s something I can beat her at,” Leake said. “It’s difficult to participate in all of the high school sports I want to while also staying on top of my academics and club sports, but I try to manage my time wisely and do all of my homework right when I get home.”
Seniors Abigail Kellie and Antonio Liberti had earned the highest amount of varsity letters for the night, which was a total of nine.
“[Earning nine varsity letters] was a great accomplishment. It felt nice to get recognized for all the hard work I put into my four years of high school athletics,” Kellie said. “I definitely did not think I would have the most. I just participated in the sports I loved. ”
Whether you’re in one sport or you’re a tri-athlete, every student has obstacles they must overcome as a student athlete to be successful in their sport. The Varsity Awards allowed us to commemorate all of these athletes’ successes.