Fall athletes continue their training into the spring


Contributed by Miller Guemple

Junior and volleyball player Vera Monteiro, like many other athletes, trains with a club team during the off-season to ensure she is prepared for the upcoming high school season.

The end of a sports season can mean many things: grief, joy, relief, apathy, but for many high school athletes it does not mean the end of their sport.

For many athletes, their efforts towards improvement have continued into the off-season. Several never took a respite and immediately continued onto a club team following the end of the fall season.

Junior volleyball player Vera Monteiro jumped right into her club season only a week after the regular season concluded. As the middle hitter on both teams, she said her goal from playing for her club team is to improve her ‘hit’ to be more prepared for the high school season.

“I definitely think I learned more during the club [season] because it offers different coaches to train with. We also practice against 18 year olds, since we are mainly 17 year olds, they are often the better team,” Monteiro said. “The challenge helps me get better.”

Junior Katherine Henry swims for both the girls varsity swim and dive team and the Charles River Aquatics (CRA) club. She said she considers her club team a greater challenge and often goes against tougher competition. In many regards, Henry said this has been very helpful.

“I would also say it’s definitely helped with high school swimming, because if you’re on a club team, that means if you swim pretty well you can probably get top 50 for club. If you do that at high school, you’re top eight in the state,” Henry said.

Junior Max Luby followed a similar path, dedicating the off-season to a club for soccer and said he has found the training beneficial. He said he is pleased with his team’s continued dedication to personal improvement for the fall season.

“I am so proud of my teammates for their commitment to our team’s performance and that they play club soccer to work on their tackles in the spring and summer to prepare for the high school season,” Luby said.

Henry said that since the high school’s swim and dive team is relatively large, creating a sense of cohesiveness is a necessity to their success. Many of her teammates swim on her club team as well, and Henry said she appreciates the unifying aspect CRA offers.

“Being on CRA and then coming onto the high school’s team has made it almost like a team within a team,” Henry said.

Some athletes are expending their energy on a new sport and hoping that these daily excursions will help them maintain their physique and stamina for the fall.

Junior cross country runner Ana Hernandez will join the high school’s track team for her second season this year with the high school. She said she plans on extracting as much as she can from the experience.

“I feel like every track season is not only training my athletic abilities, but also just learning a lot about myself. I think about how I can improve certain areas from endurance to mental health and I always like to take that to the next cross country season,” Hernandez said.

Sophomore Matteo Casagrande will be joining the lacrosse team this spring in addition to playing football in the fall. Casagrande said he thinks lacrosse will be valuable while training for football since they are both contact sports.

“I think it will help me develop better coordination and teamwork skills which will prepare me for my football season,” Casagrande said.

Many athletes, who will be seniors next year, have already begun to display leadership skills. Luby, having recently noticed the benefits of daily yoga, said he wants to share these practices with his teammates on boys varsity soccer.

“I’m actually planning on Zoom meetings before school to do yoga with the team. I think it’s a great team bonding experience and will ensure we don’t have any injuries next year,” Luby said.

Junior Phoebe Shay is a goalkeeper for the girls varsity soccer team. She said she has observed the value of attending captain’s practices in the off-season. She said while she hopes supplementary training will lead to additional playing time on the girls varsity soccer team, the larger advantages come from the opportunity to bond with teammates.

“Captains practices are a great way to get used to practicing with people who may be your potential teammates. At the end of the day, it’s all about building chemistry,” Shay said.

For rising seniors, the upcoming fall season will mark their last season at the high school. Hernandez said she always observes how special it is for seniors in their last season and that she predicts it to be very bittersweet for herself.

“I’m just really excited to run with the team one last time,” Hernandez said.