Written by Janet Shea
Unlike many seniors who choose to take second semester easy, senior Fred Reitman is taking advantage of his last opportunity to try a new sport in high school. Reitman originally tried out just to see if he could make the team, but is now a goalkeeper on the varsity soccer team.
Varsity soccer coach Kenneth Luis believes that most seniors join new sports for that final experience before leaving high school. “They see it as their last chance before college,” Luis wrote in an email. “Also, it may be their last chance to play a sport with a classmate before they go off in different directions.” Reitman joined soccer to make use of his free time as a second semester senior. “I wanted something to take up my time in a fun way, something that would give me exercise—something that I could get myself into, so I chose soccer,” Reitman said. During his first three years of high school, Reitman was part of the track and field team. Now, his role as a goalie for the soccer team is a very different experience for him. “[Shot put] isn’t really an active sport—it’s a lot of standing around,” Reitman said. “Soccer’s definitely a lot more running and physical exercise.”
Reitman believes trust is an important element in a team sport, which is another difference from the other sports he’s competed in. “There is a lot more team bonding and trusting in each other, so that’s why I like it a lot,” Reitman said.
According to varsity soccer captain senior Sam Rothstein, Fred has been a great asset to the team. “The biggest thing Fred contributes is his work ethic and his good attitude,” Rothstein said. “Fred always comes to practice, and when he’s here, he always works hard and makes everyone feel happy. He’s always telling jokes and laughing with everyone, and he really keeps the team together.”
Although exciting, Luis warns seniors of the difficulties that may come when joining a new sport.“It’s always fun to try something new,” Luis wrote. “However, if it’s a cut sport, it can be a difficult task. Most athletes on varsity sports teams have played their sport a long time and have a lot of experience.”
Although the first few weeks of soccer were difficult for Reitman, he has now settled in. “He didn’t really know us that well,” Rothstein said. “He joined the team two or three weeks into practice, but he caught on quickly and became a great goalie.”
Rothstein recommends that seniors join new sports. “I think that it’s a great idea to take the opportunity to try something you haven’t done in the past, and I really encourage any senior to not only try out for the soccer team, but to try out for any Gunn sport,” Rothstein said.