Impact Freshmen

Posted in Motion

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.

Christina Rakhamimov, Women’s Varsity Tennis. “Christina is very experienced.  You can tell she’s passionate about tennis and she has a desire to improve and a desire to win,” enthused tennis coach Susan Ford.

Christina Rakhamimov, Women’s Varsity Tennis. “Christina is very experienced. You can tell she’s passionate about tennis and she has a desire to improve and a desire to win,” enthused tennis coach Susan Ford.

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.

Gretta Kirkby, Women’s Varsity Volleyball. “Greta is a young freshman who is talented and raw in terms of her skill. She’s a fighter, she’ll hit the ball just as hard as anyone else,” gushed varsity volleyball coach Dipen Patel.

Riley Harmon, Women’s Varsity Cross Country. “Riley is an aggressive runner who has great mental stamina,” remarked varsity cross country coach Craig Stern.

Riley Harmon, Women’s Varsity Cross Country. “Riley is an aggressive runner who has great mental stamina,” remarked varsity cross country coach Craig Stern.

Riley Harmon.

Riley Harmon.

Gus Brown, Men’s Varsity Cross Country. “Gus is a strong runner who is very dedicated to the team,” continued varsity coach Stern.

Gus Brown, Men’s Varsity Cross Country. “Gus is a strong runner who is very dedicated to the team,” continued varsity coach Stern.

Christina Rakhamimov.

Christina Rakhamimov.

Gus Brown.

Gus Brown.