by Allison Dunn & Adam Lewis, Class of 2018
As 8th grade went on, it was amazing to see how each and every one of us had grown as an athlete, including myself. In volleyball and softball we won several games. We were only able achieve success because we worked as a team. Since last year, we have learned how to better work as a team to achieve our goals.
Out of all the fun, there were some struggles though. Being the least experienced, it was hard for me to keep up sometimes. There were two main ways I overcame this. The first one is that I tried to always take the advice from my coaches to improve myself. I also practiced in the off-seasons. For softball, I went to the batting cages, and for volleyball I practiced passing with my family. From this experience, I have learned that to get better, practice is necessary. People always say that “practice leads to perfection.” and, to my surprise, they’re right, you may not reach perfection, because that is impossible, but you can make yourself the best you can be. This does not only apply to sports. For example, if you’re a slow reader and you want to get faster, the best way to do this is to practice reading. The experiences I went through in the athletics program will help shape my future, because it taught me to always work hard, and that you can succeed, if you try. I know that in forthcoming events I will try hard even if I make a mistake, I will continue. I will persevere, even if it is hard to do so. I would like to thank all of the parents who helped drive, purchase supplies, and support the student athletes.
I would like to thank all of the teachers who understood why we came a little late to our first period class, or gave us time to leave early when we had away games. I would also like to thank all of the coaches, for being supportive and always helping us strive to be better athletes. Without them, there would not be Bernard Zell Athletics. But most importantly, I would like to thank all of my teammates, who made the athletic community what it is today.
We jumped up and down as a team. We played as a team. We scored as a team. We won as a team. The blood coursing through our veins, the sheer happiness of achievement. Although we are saying farewell this year to one another, these emotions are what gives us motivation to continue on as team.
Adam Lewis, Class of 2018
Back in seventh grade, our basketball coach, coach J, handed all of us a book after one of our games. The book was written by the Head basketball Coach at North Carolina - Dean Smith. His book was about how he ran his team with confidence and friendship. His book was not only about Basketball, but it was about friendship and being a leader, whether that’s in life or in the workplace. Of course, I never actually read the whole book, but the fact that my coach went out of his way to buy us all books - that was very thoughtful and special. I think that the best part of Bernard Zell (BZAEDS) is the coaches. The coaches at bernard zell are inspired to fulfill everyone on the team’s needs, as well as having fun and getting outcomes such as winning games. The hardest job on the team is the coach. They have to make hard decisions. A team would not be functionable without a coach. Another story I have is when I was in sixth grade, Ms. Lederer, my first BZAEDS soccer coach, would always yell at us to charge the net. At first, this seemed to be an indifferent statement, and I would just charge the net anyway. But in games, I realized that people do not charge the net as much as I thought. I later learned that she always tells this to her soccer teams, and it is always something everyone has to learn.
But there is so much more in Bernard Zell Athletics. My favorite part of Bernard Zell athletics is the spirit that comes with it. In sixth and seventh grade volleyball, there were only five or so people from the class of 2018 participating. But because of the spirit that surrounds BZ athletics, we were able to convince enough people to have 14 8th grade volleyball players on the roster this year. The people who joined the team were willing to take the risk of trying something new.
Some things I can take away from the experience is how to be a good person and a good sport. These ideas were started when in lower school during PE classes, where we were taught basic lessons on sportsmanship. But in middle school athletics, we learn from each other and develop deep friendships. We have opportunities to become leaders. That is what sets us apart from everyone else. I think that BZ athletics has prepared me very well for high school sports, and I will keep the lessons I have learned at Bernard Zell with me forever. I think that I will miss the close relationships I have made and the openness of the teams that I got from Bernard Zell Athletics. I will remember what I learned about sportsmanship at Bernard Zell, and bring it into my high school athletics career.