Central Mountain athletics: Expectations and impressions

(PHOTO PROVIDED) Wildcat goalie Cy Probst makes a play on the ball at practice on Tuesday morning while teammate Greg Walizer participates in team drills.

By SCOTT BAKER

sbaker@lockhaven.com

They say that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression.

A young man meets a young lady and he gets one chance to make that impression a good one. When meeting her parents, the impression better be much greater than good.

A student enters a class on the first day of school and gets just one opportunity to make a good first impression on the teacher. For a job interview, that first impression is critical.

Yes, most understand the importance of those first impressions. With the official start of the fall sports season for scholastic athletes on Monday, expectations and first impressions were on the minds of many athletes and coaches alike.

For players, it was their opportunity to make that first impression a good one on their coaches. For the coaches, it was their opportunity to make that first impression on their team in terms of tempo and expectations. Traveling around Wildcat land on Monday, and checking in on various teams as they practiced officially for the first time, it was obvious that many were intent on making their first impressions good ones.

Malinak Stadium was the site of considerable activity as the football and both the boys and girls soccer teams split the turf for their first official workouts. Upon completion of those work-outs, coaches and players alike were asked both what expectations that they had entering their first official sessions as well as what impressions they were left with at the end of them.

Expectations seemed to differ considerably while the impressions were generally good ones. Coach Jeff Brinker was hopeful that his girl’s soccer players would arrive ready to work hard. After witnessing his first session with the girls, he said that they “met my expectations as they were focused and determined to do what I was looking for.”

Boy’s soccer coach, Billy Hook said that he was looking for, “high energy and enthusiasm” from his squad and seemed pleased with what he saw.

Wildcat head football coach, Jim Renninger was expecting a “high level of focus, competitiveness and intensity” from his squad in their first full contact workout of the season. Renninger commented afterward that he was pleased in that his expectations were generally met. In front of the school on the Gibson Courts, girl’s tennis coach, Pete Wert was simply looking forward to seeing a depth of quality from his netters. After his team’s first session, he commented that, “We have work to do. We do have some experience though.” Wert said he was happy that the girls showed a willingness to try some of the ideas that he put forth. Specifically, he mentioned talking of the difference between being selfish and selfless with his girls. In the gym, volleyball coach Scott Garman talked of how he expected to “see the intangibles, attitude, effort and coachability.” Upon completion of the first practice session, he stated “we are raising the bar so we have a ways to go. The expectations are high.”

As for the athletes, girls soccer player Avery Eckley said she expected to see “good communication and bonding” from her teammates and said afterwards that it seemed that they were “ready to work and play hard.” Teammate Madison Courter commented that she was looking forward to seeing the conditioning of the team at the first practice and noted that, “work needs to be done.” Jeremiah Thomas from the boy’s team was hopeful for “teamwork and communication” and was pleased that “everybody seems to like each other and are communicating.”

His teammate, Chase Young said of the team’s first session together, “good workout.” He specifically noted his pleasure with the players’ times in the mile at the beginning of the session, which indicated their initial conditioning was at least decent.

Volleyball players Evie Rembold and Taylor Kinley shared their expectations and impressions as well. Rembold felt the workout could have been “very rough because of poor conditioning” but reflected that things, “went well. Lots of effort put forth. Everyone was loud and helpful.” Kinley summed up the team’s first session by saying, “lots of hard work and sweat.”

While it is encouraging that most expectations for day one were seemingly met, it must be understood that first impressions are not a guarantee of what will ultimately be. Sometimes that is good while other times it is not. Hopefully, in the case of the CM teams, the initial impressions that they made on their teammates and coaches will be fulfilled and lasting. Only time will tell. For now, the challenge for all is to continue to work to make their daily impressions positive. In doing so, they will surely develop even greater expectations which will likely lead to greater results. After all, that’s the goal of those expectations and impressions anyway.

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