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Who is the Bravest Athlete at West Ottawa?

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Toughness can be applied to a lot of things, and high school sports happen to be one of those things. Narrowing it down to the five positions in high school sports that take the most guts and bravery was no easy task. There were a few positions that could be debatable, but in the end it came down to the following:

Quarterback (Trevor VanTubergen):

  • No doubt the most dangerous position in football, the quarterback is always at risk. Every play the quarterback must handle the ball with the potential of being crushed. A defender’s main goal, as barbaric as it may sound, is to destroy the ball carrier. It just so happens that the quarterback handles the ball on just about every offensive play, which drastically increases the chances of being tackled. The term “tackled” doesn’t really do justice to the punishing blows inflicted on the quarterback each play as he sacrifices his body for his team.
  • “I give quarterbacks a ton of credit for being able to take hits everyday for hours on end. I’ve hit Trevor numerous times, and every time it seems to impress me how he gets right back up and keeps practicing.” Jr. Austin Sanders

Flyers (Maddie VanAllsburg, Paige Jackson, Kathleen Chanthammavong):

  • Being flung fifteen feet in the air wouldn’t be a very enjoyable experience for most people. In fact, it sounds more like a dare. However, flyers seem to have no fear despite the risks that could become a reality at any moment. Flyers are the top of the pyramid in cheerleading and not only have the experience of being thrown fifteen feet into the air, but also the thrill of being caught on the way down. One miss-step can lead to serious injury, and each flyer must trust their bases to stand strong and bring them back down safely.
  • “Flying is something that is a lot scarier than it looks. It takes lots of balance and flexibility, plus you have to smile all the time. It’s one thing flying ten feet in the air, but having to pull one-legged stunts makes it all the more difficult. I have to trust my stunt group below me with everything I’ve got because if I fall I’m a goner.” Soph. Maddie VanAllsburg

Diver (Colin DeShaw, Tanner Bosma, Jonathan Callabrese, Dani VanderZwaag):

  • Doing a flip from the ground is scary enough, but something about peering over the edge of a board, looking down into the depths below, and then doing a flip, makes the feat much more admirable. On top of the flip itself, is the risk of hitting the board on the way down. One mistake or simple misjudgment with the trajectory of the jump could result in a badly scraped up leg or a broken foot.
  • “Every time they dive and come really close to the diving board, everyone in the crowd gasps, hoping they didn’t hit the board. It’s always an awe-inspiring experience to watch a good diver come so close to an injury, yet still perform a perfect dive.” Jr. Ben Patchin

Pitcher (Nick Castanon, Nick Trameri, Eddie Newman, Ben Schaap):

  • A good high school pitcher can throw pitches upwards of 80 mph. When a batter makes contact, the ball which was already moving incredibly fast, goes even faster. The pitcher’s mound is only 60 feet 6 inches from home plate, making the pitcher the closest player to the batter without protective headgear. It only takes one line drive to the head to cause major facial damage, a serious concussion, or worse. On top of all that, a pitcher must never throw too many pitches. If too many are thrown, a pitcher can injure his arm and may never be able to achieve the skill he once possessed.
  • “They put themselves in danger every pitch. If the hitter hits one right back at you, you have less than one second to react. Austin Steinfort took one off the head already this season and got right back up and continued pitching. It’s hard mentally and physically to be a pitcher.” Jr. Nick Castanon

Lacrosse Goalie (Pablo Ballinas):

  • Imagine being hit by a ball moving at 90 mph. Now imagine having the choice between avoiding the painful sensation and being hit by that ball. A lacrosse goalie chooses the latter every time. Nobody can question a lacrosse goalie’s toughness because besides the willingness to sacrifice their own body for the good of the team, a lacrosse goalie does it all without any pads. With the exception of regular shoulder pads and a helmet, anywhere else on these athletes’ bodies are fair game to be pummeled by the opposition.
  • “I give John a ton of credit. He gets pelted with shots every day, some of which are from me. I know I couldn’t do it. I’d be done after one shot to the shin.” Jr. Adam Olson

 

Please cast your vote in the poll shown below. Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

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Think we missed a position? Email us at wopanthers.com@gmail.com with a paragraph formatted like the ones above, and we’ll put it in the article.

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