High school first, club second

Harrison Witt, Sports Columnist

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Represent the E.

Student athletes should prioritize playing for their high school team rather than a club team.

There are student-athletes from various sports who make the decision to play, or focus, on their club team instead of their high school team.  A club team is a team that brings kids from all over the state to compete at a high level.  While it is an honor to play for one of these teams, playing high school sports is an experience like no other.  It allows you to truly develop a lifelong bond with your classmates.  Also, the opportunity to represent your school is an honor.  If I were in the shoes of these athletes, I would stick with my high school team.

Also, playing for a club team is typically an enormous time commitment and an even larger expense.  It is great to have dedication to a sport, but a break is necessary.  Being a multiple sport athlete is proven to be better for your body than to play one sport year round. In a USA Today article, NBA Director for Sports Medicine John DiFiori discusses how rest is a big part of training if you are specializing in one sport.  He specifically recommends that kids and teens play multiple sports, saying that overuse injuries can end careers.

Take a look at some of the best athletes in the high school over the past years.  A good amount of them have played multiple sports; whether it is golf, baseball, basketball, or soccer, these athletes train their bodies in different ways without hurting themselves.  For example, Lebron James played both football and basketball in high school, and Tom Brady played football, basketball and baseball.

One athlete that decided to opt out of club in the fall is tennis player Anastasia Goncharova.  Anastasia played competitive club tennis for her freshman and sophomore year. Now, in her junior year, she decided to play for the high school team. I support this decision 100%.  She is having a blast and the competition is still high. Athletes can learn from Anastasia. Next season when your sport comes up, take a second and think.  High school is an experience you only get once.  Enjoy it while it lasts.