Seniors reflect on impact of sports activities


GCHS Journalism

Senior Haelyn Caskie dances at pep rally.

Alyssa Holland, Online Newspaper Editor

Stage lights beam and the music begins, as senior dancer Haelyn Caskie expresses her energetic personality through the art of dance. Prior to the performance, Caskie spent countless hours perfecting her routine and learning the moves. With all of the time and effort put into her sport, it will forever impact Caskie’s life, along with any other athlete dedicated to his or her sport.

Starting at 11 years old, dance became another world for Caskie.

“It creates, I guess you could say, a different world for me. It’s a different way to show emotion, it’s a second-life type of thing,” Caskie said.
Throughout her childhood, dancing took up a large portion of Caskie’s time and energy which has now imprinted on her to continuously keep herself busy along with forcing her to be organized.  Caskie has been on the George County Dance Team for all four years in high school, enduring through all of the hardships playing a sport can bring while also enjoying the victories with the people she cares about. Caskie chooses to stay motivated by her teammates and the atmosphere they bring.
“The people in it, the coaches and the other dancers, they are family and they are always
there for you,” Caskie said.
Caskie is not the only athlete that has had sports impact her life, in fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1991-2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data approximately 57 percent of high school students participated in at least one sport.
Football senior Conner Andrews has also had sports impact his life from a young age. Andrews has been playing football for 12 years; he has learned many key values and gained many friendships over the years. For Andrews, the atmosphere football brings has outweighed all of the hardships it brings.

“It’s like a seesaw, but the good times are so much better. Looking back there haven’t really been any bad times, even the bad times I wish I could go back and make it a good time, like there is no need for it to be a bad time. I am there with the people I love doing something [that] I love to do,” Andrews said.
During his childhood, Andrews would look forward to football season more than anything else. For him football was able to bring him insurmountable joy and escape.

“It always brought a joy for the year. It’s my favorite season of the year, its not summer, winter, fall or spring. It was football season, and I got to hang out with my buddies after school, and it just brought an escape from home,” Andrews said.

Over the years of play, Andrews’s life has been molded by the values he has learned. Leaving him with ethics that help guide him.

“It’s [football] taught me a lot of things, like hard work always pays off, if you want something you’ve gotta work really hard at it. I learned personally that you should never wait until the last minute to try to fix things. Don’t push something off for tomorrow when you could be doing stuff today to get yourself better,” Andrews said.                                   Growing up Andrews was extremely involved in sports, playing football, basketball and baseball. Above all he chose to continue his play in football because of the bonds that had been forged with his teammates.                                                      “The teammates, I love them so much like I was gonna go out there and give it my all every time, you know in football you get to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds and football has the biggest team so you get to meet all kinds of different people, ” Andrews said.
Another multi-sport athlete is senior Kyleigh Passeau. Over the course of her life Passeau has played four different sports including cheerleading, softball, and the two she currently plays, volleyball and soccer. Impacting through her childhood, the multitude of sports brought her discipline and a good work ethic.
In playing sports, Passeau has had her family by her side to support her and transport her wherever she needed to go. For Passeau her last name carries a weight that any George County resident could see. Her grandfather, Claude Passeau, was an impressive athlete leading to our baseball field to be named after him.
“It just kinda makes me strive to be really good because I know my past has been good. So, I feel like I have to be really good, too,” Passeau said.
Many students use sports in school to excel and make their niches. For some, they would not even come to school if it were not for their sport.

“It has helped me enjoy school more, if I didn’t have sports I probably wouldn’t even come to school,” Passeau said.
Keeping the balance between sports and school can be challenging, but for senior Ethan Seibert it is a necessity. Seibert has been a long time player of school basketball starting when he was in middle school. Learning to keep the balance between school and sports can be difficult but balancing the school to sports ratio has always been a standard for Seibert.

“Coach Bradley, his thing is if you aren’t in the classroom working then you are not going to give the same output on the court so he wants you to be at school and on the
court,” Seibert said.
The feelings of community that sports bring can greatly affect the mindset of an individual. For many the relationships built between sports make it worth it.
“It taught you to be a part of something and that if you stick with it at the end it will give you good outcomes,” Seibert said.

The impact of sports on the lives of student athletes teaches many great lessons and builds strong bonds between people.