Striving to be the Best

Anna Eklund, Contributing Writer

Freshman student athletes are rising to the top, and making the varsity teams for prestigious sports at Joliet West. “The students have to be special,” said Coach Almon of the Girls Cross Country team. “Making a Varsity sport as a freshman is a hard thing to accomplish,” said Marina Rico, a Freshman Cross country runner on the varsity team. More and more students every year are raising the athletic bar and being the best on their teams.

“It is important to go to the summer camps to get instructed by the coaches for the season,” said Coach Almon. In order to know what the coaches are expecting and have some of the conditioning down is an important advantage of summer camps.

It is more common to see students playing up in individual sports and less in team vs. team games. In tennis, cross-country, and swimming, etc. Team sports are much more difficult to play at Varsity level as a freshman in team sports like soccer, basketball, and football. Freshmen have played up to the highest level even in team sports and it even happened a few times here at West.

“It is intimidating running against upperclassmen,” said Marissa Baugh a freshman Varsity cross country runner. It is important to stay confident in yourself and your skills while trying out for the sport. “If you have connections with the coaches it can be a huge advantage,” said Eileen Carney, a Varsity tennis player. She had many connections with the coach because she went to the summer camp and met him, and the coach also coached her dad when he went to this school.

“While trying out for the sport you need to keep a positive mind,” said Marina Rico. Although for cross country there is no try outs, and just a practice that determines your place in the group.


Eileen Carney played club tennis year round and gives the advice of “just keep playing and practicing and preparing for the season.”


“Being able to improve is the best part of playing varsity,” said Marina Rico. It easier to improve when you are playing with much older kids, because they can help you and lead you towards success.