The GCCYS, formally known as CYO, was a time in students’ lives where sports were a fun pastime. With light practice schedules, games were more for fun than competition. Transitioning from GCCYS in elementary school to GCL in high school is a major shift for many due to the intensity level of the competition and commitment to the sport.
Freshman Lydia Geygan has played both basketball and golf for years, in both the GCCYS and the GCL. “This year, we practice more. In grade school, we practiced one or two times a week for an hour, but this year it is every day and a lot more work,” Geygan said. Some sports even have rules that if an athlete misses a practice, they are benched during playing time during the next game.
Freshman Evan Brunot, who transitioned from GCCYS to GCL basketball, agreed with Geygan that practices in high school are harder than they were in grade school, with more running and practicing of different plays. “This year, if you miss practice, you don’t start during the games,” Brunot said.
The seriousness of players also changes once high school hits. “In 8th grade, my basketball team was only about seven of my friends playing for fun,” Geygan said. But in the GCL, students can be cut from the team if they are not up to the standards. Sports become not about just having fun, but about succeeding in the game. “In grade school, if you wanted to play, you could play. Our teams did not have cuts. But in high school, you have to have talent,” Geygan said. Brunot also saw a drastic difference in the number of cuts from GCCYS to GCL. “There were little cuts last year, but this year a ton of guys tried out so a lot of cuts were made,” Brunot said.
Since high school teams compete against other area high schools with students who have been training for years in their sports, the coaches need to get their players up to the standards. ‘’The guys I’m playing against this year are bigger and better than last year,” Brunot said.
Overall, Geygan feels that the GCCYS did not prepare her for the high school level of intensity as much as her club sports did. “I’ve played basketball for multiple organizations. The AAU league helped me more than grade school, but grade school was more fun,” Geygan said.
Brunot, on the other hand, feels as though he was prepared for the intensity of high school basketball coming out of the GCCYS, and described the playing as “tough.”