The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Athletes and Fans Get Ready for Jump to College Sports

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Athletes lucky enough to compete next year at the college level are, in some cases, entering a world of sports different from high school in hundreds of thousands of ways.

For many teams competing in the NEPSAC league, at schools such as Deerfield Academy or Williston, Friday and Saturday night games can bring together the community to pack the stands. According to Athletic Director Mark Conroy, the Williston Football fields bleachers can hold around 500-650 fans. And while these nights are packed with energy, some college sports fans say the near hundred thousand at a Big 10 football game will never compare.

James Elliott, a senior from Western Mass., will be continuing his academic and football career at Dartmouth College. James is excited for this next step and is ready for the new style of football that comes with playing a sport at the Division 1 level.

“I think the first thing I will notice about the difference in atmosphere is how everybody is bigger and faster. Everyone in college is there for a reason so I believe there is going to be even more competition than in high school,” he said.

6,350 people go to Dartmouth. Their football stadium can hold 11,000 people.

In a competitive and nationally recognized environment, James will encounter new aspects of the game he has never had to take into account when playing.

“Unlike in high school there will be media timeouts that disrupt the flow of the game which will take some adjusting,” he said. “There will be even more fans in the stands in college, so the stadium will be loud.”

In broadcasted games, periodic stoppages will occur to allow for a break in the televised coverage.

Luke Shields is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has taken in the atmosphere of a Big 10 sports school. He has already noticed that “a high school game compared to a Big 10 sports game is much more intimate because the players are in your math class and on you know all the student fans around you.”

Luke, who does not play any sports at UW, stated simply that college games “are a whole other level of sports.” He remembered the “hockey games in high school were always packed and full of energy,” but said “nothing compares to a Big 10 football game.” He said they are “filled with tradition and much more than simply the game being played.”

Coach Ben Farmer, the Varsity basketball coach at Williston, played Division 1 basketball at Marist College. According to Scholarship Stats, around 7% of high school athletes go on to play on a varsity team at an NCAA school. Using this unique experience, Coach Farmer mentors and coaches his players with the goal of being apart of this exclusive percentage of athletes.

Coach Farmer remembers how much of a jump playing college basketball was, and the larger commitment it took being part of his college team.

“At the Division 1 level you have strength & conditioning, film, skill development and practice so there are times when you’re in the building for 6-7 hours per day compared to high school when you’re in the building for 2-2.5 hours per day,” he said.

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