From stadium to stage: Athletics influence students’ futures

Kellen Smiley, Sports Writer

Athletics have long played a role in influencing adolescent lives, both on the field and off the field. Sports can affect young adults emotionally, mentally and socially.
These effects include self-esteem boosts, experience with dealing with stress and adversity, and a healthier mindset.
In an article written by Linda Escobar Olszewski at, sports help cognitive thinking, or the use of mental activities to help with learning and understanding, and increased academic functioning.
In other words, athletics can help students function better in the classroom and achieve a higher level of thinking and understanding. Those skills can then be put to the test in any environment outside of school.
Often, students pursue avenues outside of sports teams. Some join the theater program, some participate in different clubs, and others simply move forward in other ventures.
The reasons vary. For some students, injuries prevent them from moving forward, but for others it is a matter of having no time to focus on the sport. Some teens simply find other passions they want to pursue. Whatever the reason, those students carry what they picked up in sports and apply it to their lives after.
Bryant participated in football for half of his life. After suffering a tear in his meniscus, an injury that causes pain and swelling in the knee after it is forcefully twisted or rotated, athletics proved to be a challenge, so Bryant decided to join theatre.
After not making into the first play he pursued his sophomore year, he was able to make it into FEST the following year. Ever since, he has taken part in every play the school has put on.
“The amount of joy I receive from doing it is so immense,” Bryant says. “I have such a great time with all the new people I have met and created relationships with.”
His past sports involvement gave him some help with the plays he is in today. Bryant says the biggest he learned was “to never give up and keep moving forward despite your mistakes.”
Sports have also played a big role in the life of senior Reni Boyarov. She previously participated in an all girls gymnastics team, the school diving team, and the freshmen track team.
Boyarov now participates in various musicals and plays. She highlights the moment she got her first lead role in the comedic play “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”, as one of her proudest moments in her acting career.
“Sports, I believe, have taught me the importance of patience,” Boyarov explains. “I learned patience comes with everything, and it is not possible to be perfect at everything on the first try.”
The two of them agree on one thing, which is to be comfortable with getting out of your comfort zone.
“The only advice I can give to not restrict yourself and being scared to try something new is okay,” Bryant says.
“I strongly encourage people to go out of their comfort zones, “Although you open to new and different possibilities, you’ll never truly know your full strengths if you don’t give it a chance.” Boyarov adds.