By Kristin Troyer – Horizon Features Editor
Before joining Hesston College athletics freshman Emma Schrock played soccer in Colorado for 11 years. There was just something about the game that made her love it. The team aspect, being competitive, and being social were too appealing to pass up. With her passion and experience, she was a perfect fit for the Larks…
…cross country team.
Schrock isn’t the only one who changed courses. Several Hesston athletes are picking up a sport that is new to them this season.
It wasn’t like Schrock jumped in with no athletic experience; 11 years of soccer experience had taught her a lot about being an athlete. The decision to switch wasn’t easy, and required support from friends and family.
“I wanted to try something new,” Schrock said. “Many of my friends were in cross country and enjoyed it, so I thought I would try it.”
Schrock’s fellow runners are supportive, even though she’s new to the sport.
“Some of my teammates thought I was crazy, but I’m lucky to have such a supportive, fun, and loving team,” Schrock said.
Sophomore Sarah Hoover also knows something about accepting new challenges.
Hoover transferred to Hesston for the spring semester last year to be on the basketball team. During the basketball season, she had the chance to scrimmage with the soccer team and realized, even after a six year break, she missed playing and hadn’t lost her love of the game. She talked to her friends, current soccer players, and finally coach Bryan Kehr. Within the week, Hoover signed on to join Hesston College Women’s soccer.
Like Schrock, Hoover found the transition wasn’t easy; she found remembering the runs and placement of each position and proper defense the most difficult.
“My footwork also needed a lot of work since it had been such a long time since I had played,” she said.
But some things did come back easily, like her ability to hustle and her competitive drive to win.
“Hustle can out-play skill,” Hoover said.
With so much on her plate already with school, basketball, and other responsibilities, Hoover said her family and friends thought she was insane picking up a second sport. But people have been supportive: coming to games, telling Hoover how much they like to watch her play, and asking how the season is going.
Loving a sport is just the beginning. Being willing to try something new and accept new challenges takes it to the next step.