South athletics pave the way for professional athletes
January 16, 2017
South has many athletic teams and offers a variety of sports for students. Most people do sports for fun, because it keeps them fit, or because it’s a great way to socialize. However, sports involvement for students can become more that just an hobby.
Several professional athletes have graduated from South. One of them is Hassan Mead, an Olympic runner who won gold in the 5.000 meters at the last Olympic Games just 0.20 seconds behind the first place winner. He graduated from South in 2007 after shattering school records in both Track and Cross Country Running.
South Alumni Tayler Hill, who graduated in 2009, is now a basketball player for the WNBA. Hill won the state scoring title in both her sophomore and senior year, and broke many records during her five years of high school basketball. After graduation she attended Ohio state until being drafted into the WNBA.
Following in the steps of her sister, Junior Morgan Hill is one of the best basketball players at South. “I started play basketball when I was in 3rd grade” she said, “my passion started from my family, my brothers and sisters play basketball so it’s kind of been passed down. I tried to get all the opportunities to practice with my sister and my brother, like working out with them and seeing what could I do better because they have a professional levels and it helps me a lot”. Her dream is play in the WNBA like her sister after she plays in college. She makes her commitment to basketball clear when saying, “I love my team and my coach a lot, they are supportive at all in everything I do.” Her favorite player is Kobe Bryant (Black Mamba) and now that he retired she finds herself very sad. “I love the way he plays the game and just everything he does.” Morgan said smiling, she is really in love with him!
Hill is not the only student with Olympic or professional aspirations. “I started play soccer when I was four years old and right now I have professional aspirations and would like to go to the Olympic games to play soccer.” said sophomore Mateo Perez. He has played for South’s soccer team and is now playing for the Minneapolis United team. He joined the new team a few months ago, but he really enjoy it saying “We won a kind of few competitions,and actually we are pretty good.”
Perez is preparing himself for the professional league with lots of training and practices. He is not sure if soccer will be his future profession saying, “I think, there is a chance. I could play division of soccer for a long time but to be a professional athlete, not even just for soccer but for all the sports, is really unlikely so I will really hope that it would be my job, but I have to prepare myself for it to not be.”
Senior Sam Maret is also training to achieve a specific sports goals in his life. Maret started to practice Nordic skiing when he was in the 8th grade. “I started cross country skiing and I started training competitively the December before my 9th grade year and then I joined the LNR [Loppet Nordic Racing] skiing club that represents all the twin cities area” he explained. “My aspiration is go to college and train with my club team, race at national level events just to see my ranks so that would be professional level of competition, I really wanna see if I should qualify for higher competition in the future. I used to have a lot of Olympic aspirations but what I found is like that more pressure you put on yourself trying to achieve these big dreams, the less fun it is skiing.”
His ideas about his future career are very clear: ”I think that skiing it’s largely a big passion of mine but I don’t necessarily wanna just be involved in Nordic skiing. I think that I will always be involved and I wanna coach in the future but I don’t think that my entire life will be dedicated to this sport”.
Maret gave a good piece of advice for anyone who has high athletic aspirations, “It’s important working hard every day but most just trying to have fun with the sport, if you are not having fun what’s the purpose of skiing? What’s the purpose to do a sport if you not enjoy it?” Thanks to the sports offered here at South, many students have been able to take their athletic hobby and turn it into a real skill, allowing them to achieve any athletic aspiration they may have.