Varsity athletes reflect on the significance of their high school careers

Joelle Feinberg, Liz Kallenberg, Luke Rizzo, Joelle Feinberg, Liz Kallenberg, and Luke Rizzo

I have learned through my years of track that the victor is not always the tallest, the strongest, or even the fastest, but instead the one that did not stop, the one that forgot her pain and ran fearlessly.

In my freshman year of track, I dabbled in many events.  I trained for long distance for my first three weeks only to be placed in the shortest sprint.

It was not until the end of my sophomore year that my identity was fully uncovered: I was a middle-distance runner.  The race of middle-distance is tricky.

It is not an all-out sprint, yet there must be a sprint at one point.  My distance requires instinct to take over in a split second.  Do I take off with that girl?  Should I stay at this pace?

I have won, I have lapped a relay team, I have achieved personal records, and I have achieved school records.  However, I have lost, I have fallen down, and I have gone out too hard and died out or gone out too slow and been caught in the pack.

If I could give any young runner advice, it would be to look more intently at her wins over her losses.

Focusing on the bad only enables one to grow scared; to be afraid of falling or dying out again.  Fear is the worst trait to hold on to while running: it makes the muscles tighten and the focus shift.  I have learned, instead, to be dependent on my teammates for dealing with both the good and the bad.  We have laughed together, we have cried together, and we have always been there for each other.

I will miss my team a lot next year, my coach included, but I know that even  though we will no longer be competing with each other, our bond will not be broken.  I am excited to continue running in college, learning as I go, and becoming more fearless in my years.

 

~Joelle Feinberg, 

Cross country, winter track, and  track and field

 

In eighth grade I joined both the girls tennis team and the girls badminton team. Being on two varsity sports throughout high school has been a great experience.

Coming in as an eighth grader is, well, very intimidating, but it made me look up to the other girls and helped me  work harder and improve my skills.  Also, because I started out so young, the older girls took me under their wing and really helped guide me.

Both teams were great, and both had amazing coaches.  Mr. Stan Makover was the girls’ tennis coach and he retired this year, but all throughout my career on the tennis team Coach Makover was able to help me tremendously with my game.  Also, my badminton coach, Dr. David O’Connor, was an awesome coach because he also pushed me to do my best and made me into the player that I am today.

The girls on both teams were so sweet and made every season so much fun.  It was a great experience to be able to play on both teams. It has given me countless memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

 

~Liz Kallenberg, 

Girls tennis and badminton

 

There is nothing more in life that better defines me than a lacrosse stick or a soccer ball.

From the minute I was born, my parents had me running from field to field, on to the next sport: soccer in the morning, followed by lacrosse, and then baseball late in the afternoon.  It never stopped!

In high school, I decided to play only soccer and lacrosse, but, overall, sports have made me the person that I am; they gave me a competitive attitude and an appreciation for others.  To me, there is nothing more important in life than being a good person and being respectful to others.  More importantly, sports is all about playing the game the right way.

The most significant thing about playing sports, especially at such a young age, is that they have helped me to find my best friends, ones that I hope to talk to every day of my life.  The moment I stepped onto the field in first grade, there was an instant connection; I established a bond.

Now that high school is just about over, and my career in Port Washington is drifting away, there is a lot that I can put into perspective.  For those who are on their way up to high school, even for those who are already in high school, my one recommendation is a word of advice: cherish.

Cherish every moment, every second, whether it is a practice or even a math class: pause, and freeze time.  Think about how great high school is and how blessed you are to be a part of something so amazing.  Smile as much as you can and go out there and make amazing things happen in life.

I look at this Thoreau quote every day of my life and this is for anyone reading this right now: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined.”

 

~Luke Rizzo, 

Boys soccer and boys lacrosse