The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Young athletes on high school teams

Middle schoolers competing in high school sports
Yosef Teshome
Seventh grader Gabbie Loberg winds up to return the serve on Sept. 14. She is one of multiple middle schoolers on varsity.

Most high school sports teams have allowed middle school students to join high school sports teams due to merit-based performances or no cut policies. This allows for middle school athletes to play at the high school level even though they aren’t enrolled into high school yet.

Seventh grade athlete Sully Murphy said he has to improve his effort when playing in high school sports due to the higher level of play in high school compared to the expectations at the middle school level.

“When I play against people my age, it’s more at my skill, but when I play sports against high schoolers I have to try to do better and exceed my expectations,” Murphy said.

According to senior Jersey Miller, having middle school athletes on teams also helps plan for the future and grow the community earlier on.

“I think that it expands the sport because when we get kids in younger grades involved early, they get really involved in that community and keep building that community when they come to high school,” Miller said.

High school cross country coach Chris Watkins said having younger athletes on the team helps coaches plan for the future and allows them to get a better feel for how the team will look in the coming years.

“It definitely helps the coaches feel better about the next few years when there are a lot of middle schoolers, especially when large groups of seniors leave,” Watkins said.

Miller said she doesn’t feel like there is a big divide between high school athletes and middle school athletes when they have team bonding activities.

“It doesn’t feel like there’s really that age gap in the way that they interact which is really cool,” Miller said. “I think it invites people in instead of (separating) everyone.”

Murphy said he never feels like he is left out of an activity or a talk, and always feels very included on the team despite the age gap.

“I think I’m very included, the high schoolers are really nice and it’s a lot of fun just hanging out with them,” Murphy said.

Miller said despite the age gap and how much harder it is for middle school students to get places without being able to drive, they still love to participate in team activities. 

“We had this team bonding thing over the summer that was very spontaneous, and three or four out of the twelve girls to show up were middle schoolers,” Miller said. ”It was a lot of fun.”

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About the Contributors
Thomas Halverson, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Thomas Halverson. I am a junior here at St. Louis Park High School. This year I am a varsity runner on the cross country team, varsity tennis player and junior varsity basketball player. I am super excited to be a part of the echo team this year!
Yosef Teshome, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Yosef Teshome. I’m a junior and I play football for the SLP Orioles. I also like to hangout with friends and play video games. This is my first year on Echo and I’m excited to be here!   

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