The rigor of playing sports at a high school as competitive as RHS is a factor in every athlete’s experience. For seniors, it is common for many seniors to quit their sport after their junior year.
A popular reason for seniors to quit their sports is the opportunities and activities that senior year has to offer. The first semester of senior year is beyond stressful as students rush to submit their college applications, making it hard to balance academics with fall and winter sports.
Seniors also have many activities they can partake in throughout the school year. Things like the fashion show and prom, which occur in the spring, are fun activities that many students look forward to. In their final semester of high school, a lot of seniors prefer to focus on creating fun memories with their peers rather than take part in the rigor of playing a high school sport.
Additionally, a student’s athletic career in college may impact their decision to quit a particular sport. If a student is not planning on continuing a sport at a collegiate level, whether that be varsity, club, or intermural, it may be hard to find the motivation to continue playing in their final high school year. Many RHS athletes have been playing their sports since a young age; however, by the time senior year approaches, many students are tired of their sport and decide it is not worth the time. This is also related to the fact that many admit that they used a particular sport to boost their extracurriculars on a college application, but as that process comes to its end, they see little need to continue.
Similarly, the level at which students have played during their high school career can influence their choice to quit. If an athlete has been on varsity in the years prior, it is practically guaranteed that their further effort will give him or her a starting spot on the roster in their senior year. However, if senior year will be the senior’s first year on varsity, the transition from a junior varsity to varsity team can be difficult. The competition is inevitably tougher and new players might continue to struggle to get playing time. Since senior year offers so many new activities, many athletes value and prioritize those over being part of a team where they do not play that often and it takes up so much time.
Another driving factor to quitting sports senior year is senioritis. This colloquial term is used to describe a lack of motivation in the final semester for high school seniors. As aforementioned, varsity sports are very rigorous and require lots of dedication. Many seniors prefer to spend their final high school semester relaxing as opposed to passing hours a week on the practice field.
Senior year is a time full of chances and opportunities. Seniors should think about whether or not they are willing to miss some of those activities because of their sports. In the end, it is an individual decision, and each student should choose what best benefits them personally and brings them the most fulfillment as their high-school experience nears its end.
Graphic: Taylor Donovan