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Energetic Eighth Graders Play Varsity Sports

Abby Regan ’22
Playing a Varsity sport as a junior schooler is a special opportunity at Hopkins. This fall, several eighth graders were given the chance to participate in high school athletics.
Eighth grade Varsity athletes have to keep up with their work while also having after- school practices. Carson Hill ’24, Varsity football player, said, “Since the school year started, balancing schoolwork with af ter school commitments has been easy. Everyday I go to school, go to football practice, workout af ter practice, then end up getting home around 6:45.” Taylor Jenkins ’24, Girls Varsity Soccer player, commented, “I try to get most of my work done during the day in my study halls so that I’m not working late at night because it can get a little hectic and crazy.”

Jenkins is playing for another club soccer team,
outside of Hopkins, this fall and she has played for several premiere teams prior to Hopkins. Henry Glover ’24, Boys Varsity Soc- cer player, said he also played for other teams before Hopkins. For one team, he said, “I traveled to Colorado for Nationals, after winning the state cup. Out there, although we came up short in the semi-finals, I got to see what the best of the best looked like, and I really started to develop a deep love for the game.” Hill also traveled with his other football teams, going to Florida for a nationals game and this season he will travel to Ohio for an All-American Hall of Fame game. Ava Mac- caro ’24, Varsity Cross Country runner, on the other hand, said she didn’t run much before Hopkins: “I have been running for three years (since sixth grade), but I only ran with my mid- dle school before Hopkins,” she commented.

Despite varying levels of previous experience, all these eighth grade athletes have become strong contributors to their teams. Head Cross Country coach, Miguel Pizarro, commented,“Maccaro is a great
runner and teammate. She works hard and has already helped the team tremendously. At the Canterbury Invitational she was the first Hopkins runner overall.” Owen Lamothe ’22 shared similar praises for Glover: “He has been an instrumental part of our defense. As someone who is younger than most on the team, he works hard to combat the incredible prep school talents who threaten our goal.”

Though the eighth graders have to work harder to suppress the age gap between the oldest players and themselves, they also have be- come good friends with the older members of their teams. Hill said, “I became friends with a lot of the older kids and they are great. Since I started practicing with them and playing JV in the seventh grade, I had two years to create a good bond and be able to be normal and fun around them.” Girls Soccer captain Anna Simon ’20 shared similar sentiments: “I think Taylor is super mature and talkative although we are more protective of her because she’s younger and smaller, and there are a lot of huge girls in our league. But, Taylor is really good at bouncing right back up with a smile on her face after a foul.”

These eighth grade athletes are looking forward to a successful season. Glover said, “Although I cannot personally predict where our team will end up this season, we did set some high goals, which I fully believe we can achieve. Each game, Jack Consiglio ’20 says, we keep improving, which is 100 percent accurate. I believe this year’s team can do big things.”
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