New Team, New Gym, New School…over 50 new athletes are now attending high school here this year. They continue their careers and adapt to their new environment.
There are 157 new students in grades 7-12 here now, which is monumental, and a majority of these are athletes.
According to MaxPreps, we went from 23 to 38 football players, 14 to 33 baseball players, eight boys’ varsity basketball players to now 13 with cuts. On the girls’ side, there were 5 girls’ varsity basketball players, and now there are 11. We went from 12 varsity volleyball players to 17.
These staggering numbers don’t include JV or Junior High, nor other sports like track, tennis or golf; all of which have seen growth.
The process of switching schools can be extremely difficult. When I was transferring to Grace this year, I wasn’t allowed to tell my friends I was leaving until the first the day of school. I had to go take an English class on Tuesdays and Thursdays because of my English score in the GPA required new-student exam.
The point is, I know first-hand that a student changing schools goes through a lot of steps and changes.
“It was a long process of changing schools, but all in all Grace made it doable,” said All-district Honors football player Junior Kameron Stokes.
“It was pretty easy because the school helped, but figuring out the new info was hard,” said Basketball Captain Junior Hannah Turner.
Team chemistry is critical for success but hasn’t been a problem as every team sport so far have made the playoffs.
Personally, I found getting to know new people here was easier than I thought, especially since I’ve hung out with the same people since kindergarten. Surprisingly, many of the new athletes haven’t had a hard time connecting with their new teammates.
“It was hard at first but once we went out of town, I got to know my teammates better,” said Turner.
“It was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. Everyone just kind of accepted me and didn’t ask any questions,” said Stokes.
Some of our athletes come from our rival school.
“[Coming in and adapting was] Not that difficult, just different,” said Junior Baseball Athlete Josh Peterson, who went to Pantego Christian for 11 years.
Some new athletes even played for the same team in the past, and moved here together this year.
“In the end, we all play the same sport and all want the same thing,” said Junior Football Athlete Quinton Browder, who attended Mansfield Lakeridge with Stokes for 2 years.
Going into a college prep school can be difficult and has its challenges especially when you only go to school 3 days a week. On the contrary, most student-athletes don’t have a problem adapting to their new work load.
“I’m a student before I’m an athlete, so it’s always school first, and there’s tutoring like math lab and other stuff here too,” said Browder. “Grace prep makes it easy to be a student-athlete.”
Even with many difficult challenges and adjustments, many of the new athletes love their new school.
“This is a small school and I had adjustments to make from coming from a big private school…I really should of come a long time ago,” said Sophomore Basketball/Football player Kendan Johnson.
It’s never easy being a new student athlete; however, the reward moving here will be worth it.