Jordan Sinclair and Mackenzie Higdon are only two of the many student athletes in their first year at La Plata High School. Most of these students have been playing for years and on many different levels of teams, but most find that those teams do not compare to a high school sports team. The spotlight and sense of togetherness usually seem to be two aspects that stand out and make being part of a high school team so attractive.
First, in October I interviewed a quarterback of the junior varsity Warriors, Jordan Sinclair, who was coming off of a 41-0 win over Great Mills. He had high expectations for the remainder of the season. “8-2, baby,” he responded when I asked him the reward for the remaining six games of the season. Sinclair has been playing football since he was four years old and has always been in love with the rigorous task of being quarterback. The “center-stage” position is not an issue; he said the pressure can be a bit much at times, but he cannot imagine a position he would rather play. The stress is understandable, as football is one of the most popular sports today, especially in high school. If you think high school sports, you think high school football.
Sinclair spoke of two significant mentors that helped mold him into the athlete he is today: his father and varsity quarterback Wyatt Potter. He wishes to continue football as a career choice, and does not seem to have other options in mind.
Seasoned 10-year soccer veteran Mackenzie Higdon has also been playing since the young age of four. When asked what may have inspired her to play soccer, she replied, “It’s just one of those things you get into. Your parents usually sign you up for soccer when you’re young.” Clearly what started out as an opportunity to make friends and be an active child turned into a passion for a globally-adored sport. She played for both recreational and travel teams and still said she loves the high school team more. “I like the sense of family you get,” she said when asked about why she preferred high school teams.
Despite the lack of a personal mentor, Higdon looks up to the varsity players as most JV athletes do, and already knows Coach Kostoff from a travel team she played on previously. The 14-year-old goalie aims to be a doctor as a fallback plan, but still wishes to keep soccer close by playing on an adult league.