The graduating class of 2015 impacted DHS in many ways, but once they left to go out into the real world, a major gap was left in many varsity sports. These sports are still struggling to cope with the lack of experienced players.
One of the teams greatly affected by this change was varsity cheer. In the previous football season there were 12 seniors along with three other returning members. After the seniors graduated in the spring, varsity cheer had to bring up 12 new members for of a team of 18 girls.
“It was intimidating confidence wise having so many new members at first, but we really believe this team will be stronger than last year,” senior cheer captain Ali Roethlisberger said. “Having so many seniors on the team in the previous year led to some conflict because it was their last year, and they wanted things their way, but I don’t see that happening this year.”
The three current seniors get along great, according to Roethlisberger.
Having a new team affects how they practice, because they need to speed the new members up to the varsity level.
“As a team we struggled with strength more than technique, so we had lots of strength training during the summer, more than what we usually would do,” Roethlisberger said.
Cheer is not the only one being affected by the lack of returning members. Girls varsity swim has 11 new swimmers and three new divers out of a team of 39.
“We were nervous, but at the same time we didn’t know what to really expect with this season because usually the seniors had such good times at meets that we never had to worry about losing,” senior swim captain Jenna Lee said. “This year was the first time we’ve lost in nine years, so it’s not something we’re used to.”
Due to changes of coaches, the swim team practiced longer and had lots of split practices to help condition and get the new members used to the intensity of swimming competitively. Although both cheer and swim have many new teammates, they still keep a tight bond with each other.
“We’re like one big family, we may not talk to each other as much but we know we can always trust each other and we always have each others backs,” Roethlisberger said.
Lee agrees with Roethlisberger and says it was easy to get to know each other over the summer.
“It’s kind of hard not to bond with each other in swim,” Lee said. “We have 19 hours of practice a week and when we’re tired and we see the same people everyday we just kind of bond like that.”
Although some sports teams are new this year, they still are excited for the upcoming season. Training hard and using new opportunities to practice gives the teams confidence, and they look forward to competing this year.
By Shauna Nanavati