Sports and its Role in Social Life at Friends

Nick Redd, Sports Writer

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Sports at Wilmington Friends School is one of the most important aspects of our community. Everyone is required to play at least 1 sport a year, and a gym class during our freshman and sophomore years. Sports provides that extra time after school to bond with your classmates, learn new things, and excel on the field. Socially, sports is something that is a part of your identity, everywhere you go. The relationships that you create on the field, essentially become some of the best relationships you have off the field. As well as the specific relationships that you can create through the sports teams at Friends, a lot of friend groups are shaped by each sport. For example, Field hockey players hang out with field hockey players, and football players hang out with football players. This is due to the close bonds that are made during workouts, practices, and games.

Soccer, one of the most dominant sports at the school, has one of the most infamous friend groups in our friends community. They are known for being obsessed with every aspect of the sport, as they spend most of their time watching or arguing over european soccer. Oryem Kilima 20’ a captain of the soccer team, had this to say about sports, and its role in social life at friends, “Sports at WFS creates a strong community within the teams we participate in. There are groups within our school that bond over their shared interest in the sport participate in such as the so called “soccer jocks.” Long before I arrived at Friends the group had created a strong friendship that stemmed from their shared love for soccer. Sports here at WFS give you a group of friends that you can laugh with, argue with, play with, and just have a good time with. Sports are a very important part in the social life at Friends as they create a strong bond with your friends.”

Another sports team that has quite a reputation for having an interesting friend group is the cross country team. Hannah Blackwell 20’, the varsity captain, had this to say. “I’ve been running xc and track since my freshman year, and I’ve met some of my closest friends through the team. The running teams have been referred to as a “cult”; I think this just goes to show how close we all are. Sports offer a unique community within the larger Friends community, so a lot of people are able to find their niche through shared common interests. I know I have.”

This just comes to show you how important sports are in our community, even faculty agree. Mr. Rashkind, the head coach for the men’s varsity lacrosse team had this to say, “I am always struck at the final Senior Meeting for Worship by how often students associate their most important memories with athletics. Rarely, do they talk about the wins, the losses, the post-season awards. What they share are memories of being on a team, of coming to practice each day and having another tight-knit community within the larger school community. I am aware that students can find other examples through clubs and activities, but I think athletics provides a unique opportunity for kids to learn to work together, to blow off some much needed steam after a long day of school, to share some laughs, and maybe even some tears. I think one of the biggest reasons to join a team at WFS is the social component. Teammates often become lifelong friends here at WFS, sharing memories they will have for a lifetime. “ It seems as if the friends and relationships that you make on the field transfer to the classroom and beyond.