Grace students hail from far and wide and come from a variety of different backgrounds, making Grace the diverse and vibrant community that we all know and love. There are many extraordinary athletes among the student body, but most are unaware of the lowerclassmen who are defying all odds as young leaders on varsity teams. I took to the halls to interview these exceptional freshmen who drive these teams to do their very best and constantly encourage their fellow teammates. There were a select few who stood out.
Henry Doherty ’23
100 Breastroke Swimmer for the Swim Team
“I started swimming for my school team in elementary school and then tried out for a club team outside of school. That’s where I really got into the sport. I swim virtually every day. I really like being on the Grace Swim Team. The whole team aspect is something I really enjoy. That’s a big part of why I keep swimming. The first meet that we had stood out to me, especially the relays. It was really fun watching everyone cheer everyone on. For the first practice, I don’t remember being nervous, I was more excited to find out who my future team would be. The team really helped me get involved in the school. I suggest that everyone else – maybe not swimming – but other sports to really get to know people. I keep swimming because it’s a way to separate me from the rest of the world. All you have to focus on in the pool is your stroke and dropping time. That’s it. It’s really a way for me to improve my focus and clear my mind. My goal is to pursue swimming in college and see where I go from there. ”
Mia Rutkovsky ’23
“Flyer” for Cheer Team
“I actually used to be a basketball player. When I came to High School, basketball seemed rougher, not the sport I had known before. My friend, Erin, kept bugging me to try cheer out instead. I had never done it before, so I was really unsure and hesitant. But she persisted, and I gave in. It looked like something I could do with my friends. When I joined the team, they told me I would be a flyer. I’m the person you see thrown in the air during our performances. We went in individually for our tryouts, and I was really happy to see that everyone got in. I’m always worried about hurting people’s feelings, but I don’t think there’s any room for that on the cheer team where one false move could cause someone to seriously hurt themselves. To be a leader, to me, is to be kind and respectful while also having the ability to distinguish when you need to step in and instruct others.”
Hayden Henry ’23
Starting Striker for Varsity Soccer
“To be a leader on the Varsity Soccer team means a lot to me. It means Coach saw something in me and trusted me. I am honored that Coach allowed me to be a starter as a Freshman on the field. I’m proud that my work off the field is coming into use. I train with my club team, a personal trainer, as well as by myself. I try to train as much as possible in order for me to be the best player I can be. This is what has really helped me improve as a player. At tryouts on the first day, I was a little nervous. I only knew a few kids. But after the first week, I really gelled with the other players. It wasn’t too hard to adjust, but the first few days were hard. I’ve gotten close with the upperclassmen through soccer. I’m going to Germany at the end of the month to play at Bones League Academy, which is the top division in Germany. My hope is to play professionally.”
Grace’s athletic teams have grown and improved tremendously since the opening of the high school. Mr. Quinn, the Associate Athletic Director at the High School, says he’s always excited to see young athletes thriving, “The foundation of a strong athletics program starts with our MS program and JV programs…the hope is for our underclassmen to come to Grace and want to make their own path to success.” Despite their ages, these lowerclassmen exceeded expectations and have managed to shine through and contribute to countless victories for their respective teams. Clearly, we have exciting things in store for the years to come. The future’s looking bright for the Griffins!