Riley Johansen | Staff Editor
Seventh graders Elizabeth Berry (left) and Samantha Connors (right) play basketball. Photo by Riley Johansen.
In sports, it is often said “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
This mantra definitely applies when it comes to trying out for Mason Schools sports teams.
In basketball, volleyball, golf, and more, it is commonly said that trying out for these teams is a valuable experience. But, it is challenging considering how many kids try out.
Athletic director Stephanie Hyatt said she knows the challenge.
“I think the largest amount of kids that have tried out for a sport was probably for boy’s basketball,” Hyatt said. “In the past, I know we’ve had numbers in the seventies when ultimately we can only take twenty total boys. Also, years ago for our boy’s golf team we’ve had around fifty or sixty boys try out when we can only take twelve.”
Making the cut is undoubtedly a challenge, but not making it can be even more difficult, according to eighth grader Caroline Herrlinger. Herrlinger said she knows both sides of the equation.
“Seventh graders have 35 kids try out, whereas 8th grade, this year, had maybe 21 girls tryout,” Herlinger said.
In seventh grade, Herlinger was a member of the girls basketball team. However, this year, she missed the cut.
“Right off the bat I was really, really, upset because I tried so hard,” Herlinger said. “I went to every conditioning, every try out. I would stay after, I would come early, I did everything I could, but I guess I just wasn’t in the prime of what they wanted, so that kind of stunk. But afterwards, I kind of saw that’s a beautiful thing, a blessing in disguise. Now I can work on homework more. I don’t have to worry about away games, bringing snacks and all your bags, so again I think it’s just a blessing in disguise.”
The same thing happened to current member of the seventh Grade boys basketball team, Tyler Ringwald.
“It didn’t really affect me because I tried out for the Mason basketball team last year, and I didn’t make it so I just played on rec,” Ringwald said.
Even if you don’t make the team, there are plenty of other options for students, Herlinger said.
“I think definitely, if you really love basketball, just try out, if you don’t make it, so what?,” Herlinger said. “Play on a rec team, and come back next year and just kill it. So, if you are trying out for the school team and they have a rec option, maybe just sign up for both, because if you don’t make it on the intense team, then you have a fun team that you don’t have to try out.”
Aside from all the challenges of making the cut, being part of any team is a valuable experience, according to Hyatt.
“I think both (select and recreational teams) are really valuable opportunities,” Hyatt said. “I say that because when kids are involved and active, doing something productive like a sport, I don’t think it matters if it’s a rec sport or a really competitive select team. I think what matters is children are busy, and doing something physical with their time, not just plugged into an electronic device or watching TV. If the goal is healthy living, and spending time doing fun activities, I think either would be valuable.”