"When you came to this class I thought all you could do was shoot pucks- now you can do logarithms!"
That beautiful quote came from my junior year calc teacher Mr. Gilson.
My high school sports career is the first thing I think of whenever the topic of high school comes up. For starters, I got to play three Varsity sports with my sister my freshman year. Both of us played field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. All three seasons have their own unique elements to it. All three were different from the makeup of the team, the practice and travel schedule, to our successes and reputations.
While playing for the field hockey team I got to be a part of a team that was full of tradition that was built by our coaches. At the start of every practice that followed a game, the team ‘shirt’ would be handed out to the player that showed up the most in the game. Whoever was handed the shirt would wear it the entire practice and then would hand it off to someone else after the next game. The shirt looked like a ‘where’s waldo’ orange and white striped shirt that was super goofy but always rewarding to wear since it came from a teammate. The four years that I played on the field hockey team is what I believe taught me to practice and play hard while learning to become a leader at the same time.
We won the NEC all 4 years while making the state tournament every year, being #1 seeds twice, and reaching the sectional semi-finals twice. Playing for a successful team made me a competitor; I loved to win as much as I hated to lose and I felt personally responsible for sharing my competitiveness with my teammates.
The girls ice hockey team was one of my favorite memories of high school since we were comprised of two towns Beverly/Danvers. I had played for Danvers youth hockey as a kid since Beverly didn’t have a youth girls program yet ironically, Beverly was the name on the front of our jerseys later on in high school. It was great playing a sport with girls from other towns because in the fall and spring we found ourselves facing off against each other on the field, but in the winter time were all teammates. From December through March, we were in our own little world and I loved it. I think my favorite part about high school was playing for teams and how in that season, they were the people you spent most of your time with.
Some days we would have 5:30 am practices, and some Fridays we would have 8:30pm practices. After practice we’d either race off to school, grabbing coffee on the way, or we would get ice cream or food on the way back and get ready for our upcoming game.
My junior year we got a new coach and I remember being so excited about who was coming in because they were “hockey guys”. My coach Brian, and his dad-who we called ‘Pops’ were long time hockey legends in our area and devoted their time and energy into teaching us the game from perspectives we hadn’t seen before. Even if we were winning 5-0, Brian wouldn’t tell us to pass it however many times before we could shoot like our last coach would, he would tell us to keep moving our feet and treated our ice time like a conditioning session. The father and son duo had always coached boys and I always loved the fact that they would sometimes treat us like the boys too. If we weren’t playing well, Brain would lose it and yell at us and tell us to ‘WAKE UP’. They knew the game well, so if they yelled at us, we probably deserved it.
In all four years playing sports for Beverly High I never won a state championship and I hate it. I played for some great teams and coaches, and we went far and were seen as successful teams by others, but I can’t help but feel disappointed that I never won a trophy in the shape of Massachusetts. A lot of the Beverly sports were good when I was in high school, girls soccer wont their sectional championship, Boys hockey were state champs, the football team was 2x super bowl champs, girls gymnastics won pretty much everything every single year. I always felt motivated since Beverly was a powerhouse in athletics and I owe a lot of my success to the fact that I played for Beverly and went to school with so many other talented athletes . Go Panthers! (We also kicked ass in our senior powderpuff game)