Unique Activities and Out of School Sports

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Unique Activities and Out of School Sports

Patrick O’hara riding the waves at a competition in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Patrick O’hara riding the waves at a competition in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Patrick O’hara riding the waves at a competition in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Patrick O’hara riding the waves at a competition in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Tia Cormier, Kasey Murdoch

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While many students participate in sports affiliated and run by Oakmont, other student athletes participate in various out of school sports and activities. There are many positives as well as negatives that come with participating in the sports run by out of school organizations.

Oakmont athletes are given recognition by the school for their achievements and hard work throughout each season; whereas being a part of an out of school team, athletes receive a much different experience. These students are not given that same recognition by their school and peers. Their achievements stay out of school, and often unheard of by their classmates. 

It can be challenging at times to be a part of a non-school team: worrying about transportation, conflicting with other school events, and often having a difficult commitment. On a positive note, athletes can create relationships with people from different schools. This can help kids with the development of new communication and social skills, especially when they are playing with a new set of people that they don’t see on a daily basis.

Cate Telicki, a freshman at Oakmont, is a horseback rider at Crimson Acres. She practices once a week in Orange and competes all around New England. “While I enjoy it, it’s hard because it conflicts with other school sports I participate in,” says Cate.

Many Oakmont sports teams communicate with each other to create a schedule that doesn’t have interfering practices and is convenient for all players and coaches. For student-athletes who participate in school and non-school sports, maintaining a busy schedule can be extremely difficult. This is due to the lack of communication between coaches or teachers between the two sports and the fact that practices may conflict with each other. The students that are involved with both must learn to manage and prioritize their time properly. This is not an easy task- especially with MIAA regulations specifying that school sports must always be a priority. 

David Seppelin a junior at Oakmont, is a competitive swimmer for Greenwood Swimming Club and practices up to 5 days a week at WPI in Worcester, MA. His competitions vary in location but most take place around MA. He has a big commitment to his team and travels far for practice. “It’s harder, because school sports may be cheaper and provide you with transportation,” says Seppelin. 

There are negatives that come with joining a team, practices may be farther than just Oakmont or around the Ashburnham Westminster area. This is true, school sports always provide a bus for the students when their games are away. This makes it harder to play for an athletic association not with the school because you are responsible for finding your own transportation. 

Jacob Langlois, a junior at Oakmont, snowboards for Revtour USASA and practices all the way up in Dover Vermont at Mt. Snow. He snowboards competitively all around New England and has traveled as far as Colorado for the Nationals at Copper Mountain. “Schools out West with better conditions for snowboarding have teams but since we live in Massachusetts we don’t have in school teams.” 

Patrick O’Hara a junior at Oakmont, is a surfer for Hyperflex Wetsuits team and competes in Mutunk, Newsport, and Westerly RI. Since Patrick plays a sport that you can not really play around here due to our location, he says, “I love surfing I’ve done it since I was little, but the school obviously doesn’t have a surf team so I’ve always done it in Rhode Island.” Patrick plays a unique sport that often goes unnoticed because it is not a part of the school or local. He also tries to balance Oakmont ice hockey and lacrosse. 

Participating in out of school activites leaves more opportunity to play certain sports that are not available around here. Jacob and Patrick both compete in a sport a school would not be able to make possible due to location. Students should explore other sports like these that the school doesn’t provide for a new and different experience. 

Felicia Deloge a junior at Oakmont, is a gymnast at Meridian Gymnastics in Gardner, MA and is also a member of their competition team. She practices at the gym four days a week for three and a half hours and trains all year round preparing for her competitions. Felicia says, “it’s hard to balance sports and school work at the same time, and difficult to get involved in certain school activities.” 

Tia Cormier a junior at Oakmont, is a figure skater at FMC Gardner, MA. She participates as a soloist, and as a member of their competition team. Practicing three times a week for multiple hours. “It’s hard to get involved with other school clubs and sports with a schedule that’s unpredictable and changes weekly,” she says.

For students like Felicia and Tia it’s hard to be apart of the school. This also lacks the recognition that the school will give to students facing these problems, who may be too busy to get involved, and not having any acknowledgement for the things they do out of school.

Kasey Murdoch a junior at Oakmont, is a dancer and part of a competition team at the The Dance Center in Winchendon, MA. She practices 5 days a week for several hours at a time and is a part of a huge commitment, leaving limited time for other school activities. “Being a part of an out of school team means I will never be able to experience all the things that come with being a part of an Oakmont team.” 

Overall, joining teams or participating in sports not associated with Oakmont Athletics is a very different experience. Not only can it be different due to practices or competitions but you can create special relationships with kids and even instructors all around the area. Although there may be a few difficult aspects to it, playing an out of school sport or activity is a great thing to be a part of.