Two Years Down, Two To Go

On one hot afternoon in the middle of August, I stand on the volleyball court in Hick’s gym. Two-dozen other guys crowd around the court, each of them vying for a spot on the varsity team.

Knees bent, hands out, head up. Waiting for one of the seniors to smash a ball over the net.

He goes up, arms out wide, ready to slam the ball down onto the hardwood and gain a point for his team. His right hand flies forward, smacks the ball.

Then it hits me. This is it. I’m halfway done.

There are only six seasons left in my high school sports career, and one of them is already well under way. For me, only four more chances to win an SPC Championship and add a number to one of the banners in Hick’s Gym.

I look back at the last two years, and I wish I could have done more. I wish I spent that extra hour practicing on the court or in the cages. I wish I made the most of every quarter, set and inning.

Athletics are as much a part of who we are as Marksmen as anything else. The vast majority of us spend 10 hours a week practicing or training, and those who do not spend at least four days a week in P.E.

Of course, academics come first at school, but I think we all know each of us wants to hoist an SPC Championship trophy at least once before we leave the campus behind. It gives us a sense of pride to be able to look at the year on the banner or the trophy in the case and say, “I was a part of that.”

Some have already done it. Some more than once. Some are still chasing that elusive title, even after nine seasons of doing this.

Every game we play here is special. For a lot of us, this is the last chance to compete for our school. A select few will go on to play in college. But for all of us, these years mark the last chance we will have to wear that name across our chests.

That name – “St. Mark’s” – represents more than just a school. As we hear so much, they represent a brotherhood, a family. A family worth fighting for during every quarter, set and inning.