Freshmen adapt to varsity sports teams this fall season


Photo by Ella Shi

Emma Morris ’24 warms up for her meet on Oct. 14, as she prepares to run as the only freshman on the varsity girls’ cross country team.

Varsity athletes are dedicated and talented, and playing on a varsity sport team is the goal of many high school athletes. However, for a select few freshmen, they dive right into the competition and high-expectations of varsity sports right as they enter their first year of high school.

This fall, Staples high school freshmen have learned to adjust to the competitive and intense characteristic of varsity sports, as their fellow teammates create a welcoming environment.

Talia Moskowitz ’24 plays center back for the varsity girls’ soccer team. Moskowitz felt comfortable joining the new team this year as she had four other freshman teammates that she could relate to despite her initial angst.

“The beginning of the season was intimidating,” Moskowitz said, “but it was nice having other freshmen that are experiencing the same thing.” 

Moskowitz also enjoys the bond between her teammates as all the girls have the same love of soccer and competition.

“I love competing and winning with my team,” Moskowitz said, “and all of the fun team camaraderies.” 

Similarly, varsity field hockey player, Caroline Cooper ’24, is one of four freshmen on the varsity girls’ field hockey team. She has assimilated to her new team as many of her friends are her teammates, and she also enjoys the positive surrounding the upperclassmen have created.

“It is nice to have other freshmen on the team because I am friends with some of them out of sports and school,” Cooper said, “and the upperclassmen are very nice and inclusive.” 

However, the demanding daily practices and frequent games created difficulties as Cooper had to ensure that she was on top of her school work.

“I have had to learn how to balance school and sports more efficiently,”  Cooper said, “and plan and work ahead on my homework.”

Despite the challenges, Cooper looks forward to her future in field hockey as the season progresses. She hopes to continue improving and learning throughout the rest of her high school career.

“I am looking forward to the next few years and becoming a better player and teammate,” Cooper said.

For Moskowitz and Cooper, they had other freshmen on their teams to depend on as they maneuver through unfamiliar territory. However, for some, like Emma Morris ’24, she joined the varsity girls’ cross country team as the lone freshman. Nonetheless, Morris has fit in smoothly and is proud to be a part of the varsity team.

 “I run cross country because I love the competition and feeling of accomplishment after each practice or race,” Morris said. “I feel honored to run with upperclassmen.”

Morris finds the team to be an enjoyable setting which allows her to de-stress from her day at school. 

“I feel better physically and mentally after every run,” Morris said.

Even with Morris’s passion for running, challenges still arise, especially nerves before a meet. 

“I don’t necessarily face many challenges although if I were to name one it would be the pressure I feel each race,” Morris said.

The freshmen athletes have adapted to varsity sports teams, as Moskowitz, Cooper and Morris all recount the aspects of their teams that allow them to feel confident. So far, they’ve faced few obstacles, and all look forward to their future sports’ careers as they grow as athletes.

“I’m really looking forward to getting more time on the field and helping my team towards the win,” Moskowitz said. “In future years, I’m looking forward to being an upperclassman and a leader on the team.”