The benefits of being part of a team are lasting

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The benefits of being part of a team are lasting

Grant Erikson #11 with Chad Garland #4 during a game.

Grant Erikson #11 with Chad Garland #4 during a game.

Grant Erikson #11 with Chad Garland #4 during a game.

Grant Erikson #11 with Chad Garland #4 during a game.

Samuel Doyle, Photographer

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There are many ways to make meaningful connections at the school. One way, obviously, is by joining sports. Once on a team, through practice, trips on a bus and games, players can’t help but establish friendships.

These types of connections can make or break a team. Some of us have been in situations where a team hasn’t come together. Those seasons are rough. However, at Capital High School, those kinds of experiences are rare.

Junior, Maddie Cognasso, coaches Special Olympics basketball. She explained how the team she helps rely on one another, “Especially for basketball, it’s important to communicate. From experience, I know relationships build while on the court. I see this happening with these players as well, they definitely motivate each other. They are really cool to watch and it’s neat to see them work together and continue to connect as a team.”

Senior, AJ Peters, athlete, has seen similar connections. “I think the way it happens is that everyone has the same goal. When that goal is the same, they push each other through challenges and hold each other accountable, and connections form. These connections move beyond the field. Players are there for each other in their personal lives as well.”

Cognasso reflects on how being in any capacity of a team benefits, “Watching the impact on the court has actually been more rewarding, for me. Coaching gets me out of my head and I forget all my pressures watching others push themselves. All the stress of my life just melts away and I truly lose myself in the joy of being present.”

Mark Mansfield, basketball coach for 12 years said, “you’ll remember the game, not the score.” Saying that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on the game, Mansfield stated, “the teams focus on family, while also competing with a dedication to winning.”

Mansfield believes that these connections open doors for your future, “on the court it’s very close knit, where high communications benefit us in every way both on and off the court..”

It’s players that move past any reservations of trust and throw in with the goal of the team that win either in points or in friendships, often with both.

Chad Garland and Grant Erikson, seniors at Capital High School, have played together for 12 years, said that there is a feeling of trust and dependency in the atmosphere on the field. They also make a point to have those types of connections spread throughout the entire team.

“It’s not something that you can manufacture, it just happens naturally,” Grant explained about the importance of bonding with the freshman, so that they will have the same types of connections with the team as the upperclassmen and will value the same degree of team relationships as they move up in years.

Chad said that from all the years he’s been on the team, “This year we are closer than we ever have been and I am so glad to have been a part of that experience. I know these relationships will last.”

Katie Moore, senior, explained her experience of playing soccer for eleven years, “Ideally it comes down to working together, if you want to look good out on the field. It’s obvious when you’re not cohesive. Of course it’s easier said than done. Teamwork takes time and the upperclassmen contribute a lot with role modeling its important but how to trust.”

The benefits, Moore added, “is a good break from your own family and usual friend group. Your team knows you a little differently so they become an extended family that holds you accountable and will be there if you need a different perspective on things that come up. We know our personalities, our strengths and weaknesses so we are straightforward when we need to be. This year, we spoke with the underclassmen before the season was over about how the team still exists postseason.”

This kind of team bonding lasts after graduation. Students really benefit from being a part of a team for years to come.

Moore reflected, “I still talk to Shannon Rogaski, Ellie Potts. And even Chloe Lamenzo from when I was a 9th and 10th grader.”