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Athletic Co-op Inspires Maywood Senior

Excitingly this year marks the very first year in which Maywood High School and Hayes Center High School co-opted in athletics due to the low amount of students that attend each school. In May of 2015, this possibility was first introduced to students and the public. However, beneath this idea, lay an abundance of undecided affairs, such as transportation situations, mascots, and schedules. Many exciting possibilities arose from this opportunity, as did many negative remarks from community members. A large amount of the insinuations dealt with the fact that the co-op should be with Medicine Valley Public School which is only 7 miles away, opposed to Hayes Center Public School which is 35 miles away. As the co-op decision finalized, the disapproving community members fell silent; however, they kept their opinions locked up inside, secretly hoping this would fail, causing them to prove their point. As a student athlete, I knew that in order for my newly constructed team to receive the most out of this experience, I had to inspire them through leadership, hard work, and a positive attitude. Therefore, I accepted this challenge to make my character strong and my team even stronger.

When the 2015-2016 school year began, a unique feeling filled the school: pride, a feeling that has unfortunately been absent from our school for an extended period of time. Although this rare feeling found its way back into our school, the negative comments still lurked in the shadows of disapproval. The more that I heard these negative remarks, the more motivated I was to prove that this co-op was exactly what each of our schools needed in order to instill success into each student athlete. During fall sports, I observed the excited communities working together and merging into one new community, full of passion and support. As basketball season approached, I was more than ready to work with my new team, to get to know them and develop new, meaningful relationships.

Once basketball season arrived, I knew that something special was going to come out of this incredible journey, and it did. Not only did I develop trust, perseverance, and determination through the efforts of making two halves into one whole; I also developed personal relationships with my teammates that will carry on throughout my life. Although the blending of the two teams was somewhat awkward, we did not let that get in the way of our team goals. As a team, we had a great year with a winning record, but more importantly, we overcame obstacles that others said would be impossible. We proved that we had what it took to lay everything down on the line in order to benefit as a team. As for the community members that said that this co-op would not work, they have now seen how incredible this journey has been for both the Hayes Center and Maywood communities. I would not have wanted to spend my senior year playing basketball with anyone else.