The Transition from Middle School to High School Sports


Bridget Nelis

The girls freshman soccer team practices after school.

Laure Schulders, Features Editor

As spring sports start their competition season, many freshmen begin their high school sports journey, transitioning from middle school and club sports, and entering a whole new ballgame.

Only seven sports are offered at the middle school level in D303 in comparison to the 20+ offered at North. As a result, young student-athletes often start in a club sport, playing for an outside organization.

“I played club [soccer] up until this year,” said Owen Brown, freshman soccer and track athlete. “I wish there was a team for middle school.”

Joining high school sports means that freshmen see more familiar faces since they play alongside classmates as well as teammates.

“You definitely have a lot more friends on [the high school] team. Here, you see your friends all the time, in school, in practice. With club, you only see them a couple times a week,” said Brown.

Another big difference between club and school sports is the scheduling.

“Club soccer is year round, but it’s less days per week,” said Chris Dabao, freshman girls soccer coach. 

During the high school season, sports practice several hours a day, up to six days a week, which is a stark contrast to the less busy club schedule.

This increase in intensity is also seen between middle school and high school sports.

“In middle school, I did volleyball, and that was pretty fun. But coming to high school, and then [having practice] every single day, it was like, ‘wow, it’s like a bigger commitment,’” said Bree Jaquez, freshman. Jaquez currently plays soccer for North.

High school sports also have cuts and varsity teams, which encourage students to put in the effort to make the team.

“Here, they expect you to be your best,” said Jaquez.

This extra competition and dedication also poses a new challenge for freshmen, that of being a student-athlete.

“It doesn’t matter what you do in sports if you can’t get it right in the classroom,” said Dabao, highlighting the importance of maintaining a commitment to academics.

Transitioning to high school sports means student-athletes need to find a balance as they gain new responsibilities and juggle more extracurriculars.

Despite the potential challenges, many consider high school sports to be an extremely rewarding experience.

“It’s been so much fun. This has definitely been the best year of sports I’ve ever had because I’ve just made so many friends, teams and everything,” said Brown.