What Sports Mean to High School Athletes: Bishop Hendricken
When you think of high school sports, and winning, you think of Bishop Hendricken. Home of the Hawks has brought home a plethora of championships over the past decade. Doing it on the field, diamond, and rink is what Hendricken is known for. Bringing home titles to add to their trophy room is just a regular day for the Hawks.
I talked to All-State OL Richard King. He is entering his senior season and is looking to add another ring on his finger. When asking King what high school sports mean to him he replied, “Bishop Hendricken High School athletics program has been one of the most important aspects of my life these past four years. I have played a total of four sports including rugby, indoor track, baseball, and most importantly football. The football program at BHHS has changed my life for the better. It has given me the chance to fall in love with a sport I have never really cared about up to this point. Now, football consumes my thoughts and is the very reason I wake up and grind every single day. We are all about the competition here and I love going out every day and competing. At Bishop Hendricken there is a brotherhood. To sacrifice yourself for the betterment of the team and there is no bigger team culture than the one at Hendricken. Also, it has taught me how to accept nothing but a win. I have yet to lose a High School football game and do not plan to if we get a chance to hit the field in February. But, just as you win, you lose as well and during my rugby season, we won just a few games. But our Coaches taught us how to lose with dignity and to use that loss and turn it into gain. The Bishop Hendricken Athletics program has given me opportunities to further my athletic career into college as well. It has given me connections to spring me into D1 through D3 recognition from college programs across the country. But most importantly it has given me a second family. My Coaches and my brother mean more to me than a football game. For the rest of my life, I will reflect on all the great things we accomplished and all the great times we had. The only people I know that have a love for the game just as much as I am the guys that take the field with me. High School sports can change a life and has certainly changed mine."
I also talked with 4-year Varsity Midfielder Justin DeBalsi. When asking DeBalsi what high school sports mean to him, he replied with, "Sports have always been a safe haven for me outside of this busy world. When I play lacrosse, nothing else matters. It would be devastating to miss out on my senior season, after already missing junior year. This sport has made such a great impact on my life. Hendricken lacrosse has been my second family for the last 3 years. In my freshman year, the upperclassmen immediately took me under their wing, welcoming me into the brotherhood. I want to be able to do the same for the younger guys this year. The bonds I have made are bonds that will last my whole life. I don’t call my teammates my friends, but my brothers. Each and every guy has my back, and I have all of theirs, no matter what. I want one more chance with these guys by my side. This year’s team has loads of talent, and I’m excited to see the noise we can make. We are all fired up and ready to go. We’ve been waiting to get back on that field for a while, and when we do, we aren’t going to take it for granted."