By Gracie Holder, CHS Senior
It is clear: as the school year comes to a close, Seniors are not only ordering their caps and gowns, spending final moments with friends and family, and studying for their last tests and exams; they are also turning in their uniforms and jerseys. Seniors who have spent four-plus years preparing for their selective sports, both in and out of season, have trained and made memories they simply cannot leave behind. Their contributions to their team, school, coaches, and community are notably representative of their dedication and passion for the love of their sport(s). Because of this, a diverse group of Chisholm High School seniors from various sports has chosen to comment on their final reflections of what they have learned by being a Chisholm Longhorn and athlete during their last four years.
Starting with a notable fall sports player, Baylor Ewbank spoke on how his involvement in CHS football has granted him a greater appreciation for service to others. “Being a part of Chisholm athletics and football has taught me how to be a better teammate, which results in being a better person in the community. As a team, we players participate in many events in the community locally that show we can directly impact others,” Ewbank said. As Baylor noted, knowing what Chisholm represents and stands for to others has allowed him to recognize the impact and importance of displaying good character due to his athletic involvement. Further speaking on his admiration for his sport, Ewbank spoke to what his true sentiment for the game of football is: “I love playing the game, but the bonds I have created with my teammates is the best part. Without sports, I would not have the relationship I have today with my friends.” Baylor’s loyalty to his growing friendships throughout his athletic involvement confirms that his sport was not simply derived from achieving personal statistics, but more importantly was rooted in his devotion to others.
Lydia Peace, another fall sport participant, expressed the development of herself as an athlete by her participation in volleyball. “Over the last four years, it was, at times, difficult to realize I just needed to have confidence in what I was doing and have fun. However, eventually, this clicked with the help of my coaches and teammates. Because of this, I was able to feel better, mentally and physically, during a game and compete to my full potential,” Peace commented. The support of teammates, coaching, and community never ceases to fall short in aiding one to success according to Peace. Applying this premise towards how this fortitude by others in athletics is displayed, Peace referenced a memory: “During my sophomore year of volleyball, Mr. Dent, our high school principal, was our coach. We were at a tournament, and my teammates and I were exhausted. To cheer us up, Mr. Dent made funny nicknames that were unique to each person. It raised everyone’s spirit and gave us the motivation to finish and win the game. Mr. Dent always knew how to inspire and encourage everyone to try their best and have fun.” Lydia’s testimony towards her growth of personal progression due to her perspective of positivity received by her involvement in CHS athletics shows how her participation taught her lessons to carry on in her future endeavors.
Makinde Ogunsola belongs to not only one but two CHS sporting teams—the boy’s basketball team and track & field team. Directing his attention towards a specific coach who has aided him in his athletic relations, Makinde remarked: “My favorite coach is Coach Coleman due to his diligent work ethic and commitment to his students by helping us refine our skills. His keen intellect as well as his esteemed glare of experience has put me on the path to becoming a successful athlete over the last several years. Coach Coleman knew what I was good at and where I needed to improve; he instructed me with exercises to increase my ability to improve my times (running). He also made sure to surround me with people that would motivate me to work hard while still enjoying their company. Furthermore, Coach Coleman has helped me become a staunch and assiduous leader.” Makinde’s hypothesis of his coach affording him and his teammates with training and advice that aids them to not only becoming victorious athletes but better people speaks towards the culture of CHS that athletes want to remain true for returning and new athletes to come.
Finally, another multi-sport player on the softball, basketball, and golf teams, Regi Pasby, shed light on reasoning as to what her sports teams have required of her. “All four years of high school I have attended every summer pride, basketball camp, softball camp, etc. This has made a huge impact on my attitude in my sports. It has made me feel more confident and satisfied with my game(s) because I have dedicated myself to establishing consistency in all areas of my life and sports teams,” Pasby concluded. The aspect of persistency has been validated by Pasby as a representative of her distinguished sports teams. Alluding to her object of inspiration preceding and during her athletic career, Pasby employed the importance of a role model in her life: “My brother played sports for Chisholm his whole life; nonetheless, I grew up watching him. He was the person I looked up to when it came to sports because ever since I was younger I have wanted to be as good as him.” The competitive spirit of siblings in sports is true for Regi growing up, but it is also an aspect that relates to many others in the CHS athletic community as well. As Regi noted, cumulating in an environment like Chisholm that contains such an involved athletic reputation verifies the desire to preserve it by athletes hoping to contribute their talents towards its programs.
Despite the differing sports these athletes belong to, they all can agree on one aphorism; they all are one as Chisholm Longhorns. Although it can be an emotional goodbye when closing their high school athletic chapters at CHS, these athletes acknowledge the lessons, people, and memories that have bestowed upon them necessary attributes that will be beneficial outside of the CHS walls—regardless of their future with athletic affiliations. Additionally, as all CHS athletes say their final partings, they hope that their records and goals left are just as evident as their attitude and character were on the athletes succeeding them; this is what it means to be an athlete at CHS.