The focus of every returning athlete, Varsity and JV alike, is the incoming freshmen who are ready to take their spots on the team. Since the age of Sparta (well maybe not that far back) varsity sports were only for the oldest, most well-trained athletes. But in recent years, Albany High’s varsity teams have been going against the status quo by readily embracing young freshmen athletes.
How are these athletes different from those of days past? Well, it’s most likely a result of the specialization of athletes at young ages. There is more stress to “play harder” and to “be better” for children at younger ages, so by the time they reach high school they have a much higher skill set.
Additionally, more and more female athletes are participating as the gender equality for high school athletics measure, Title IX, gains acceptance. These female athletes are also specializing in sports at young ages. So, the overall total of freshmen athletes is bigger and better than before.
In this three part series The Cougar wishes to highlight one outstanding freshman from each varsity team of the season.