The Chronicle-Express is asking area senior athletes to share their thoughts after losing their final season to the coronavirus pandemic.
At Penn Yan Academy, sports are not just about the number of wins that each team experiences throughout their season. Sports teams mean connecting with groups of kids on a different level than just sitting in class with them for 40 minutes at a time. Each member on a team knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and works hard for each other, not against one another.
After a tough day at school, going to practice with my team is something I always look forward to; even if it means running champions or North Carolinas while Coach Nelson stands on the side and tells us how good we could be that year if we work hard enough.
In a town where most athletes have to play at least two sports in order to keep programs, the coaches are always working hard and connecting with their team on a personal level, as well as pushing them both physically and mentally.
Not only are coaches supportive during the season, but also the entire year. During the summer, running from three AAU games in Brockport to a soccer game in Myderse that evening is very stressful for the players, but the coaches always understand; even if it means missing a last game to get to another one.
It is not just the coaches pushing these young athletes to their potential. There is nothing more exciting for an athlete than looking up at the stands to see a community backed behind them. This year, I got the experience to play in a sectional final game for basketball. The rush of excitement I felt when I looked up behind the bench was something I had never felt before. Here was the whole community; a sea of orange and blue, cheering, yelling and clapping for what was to come.
Being a part of a team means that you win together, you lose together, and everything in between. There are always hard practices and impatience after spending too much time together. You fight like a family because you are a family. But you also love like a family and cherish your time together because there are not many bonds stronger than an athlete and their team.
Especially not a team like the Mustangs.