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Teachers prove that athletic careers don’t end after high school

Teachers have the freedom to play sports outside of school just as students do.

Alexandra Demeule, Staff writer

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From baseball to basketball, golf to tennis, teachers prove that students aren’t the only ones who play sports and have a good time outside of school.

Sport careers for students don’t always end directly after high school. It’s possible to continue playing sports after graduation despite failing to advance to a higher level playing field. There are plenty of other options besides playing professionally that allow someone to continue their athletic career. Teachers such as history teacher Andrew Reddy are proof of this.

“I play in two different leagues [Baseball]. One based in Portland has two divisions, an over 25 and an over 35. I played in the over 25 for a number of years, but as I started getting older, I played in both and now I only play in the over 35,” said Reddy. “25 year-olds are half my age so I can’t keep up with them anymore and I have to accept reality. I’m not as athletic as I used to be.”

Reddy may not be in high school or college anymore, but he continues to play on multiple leagues. He plans to continue playing for as long as he can.

“I also play on a league based in Bath which I just started last year,and that’s an over 45 league which at the age of 52 makes me one of the younger guys,” said Reddy, laughing. “One of the first guys I met playing in that league he introduced himself to me, and he was 73 and I thought, ‘this is good, I can play for another twenty years.’”

Where many high school and college teams focus on competitive nature and skill, Reddy’s league is more focused on having a good time. Even if they make mistakes, no one is horribly embarrassed .

We’re old and our glory days of playing high school and college sports are behind us so I think most people are accepting if you make an error or strike out on what could be the winning run,” said Reddy once again laughing. “It happens and we all just go home to our families and our jobs and realize that it’s really not that important.”

— Andrew Reddy

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Although Reddy’s mistakes could not be considered terribly embarrassing, he still has some particularly awkward moments that have occurred mid game.

“It’s not that embarrassing, not too many people caught me, but enough of my teammates noticed,” said Reddy. “I started running off the field when there were only two outs and I thought there were three. I got about ten steps in and I stopped and started back peddling back to my position and the shortstop yelled out to me because he caught me.”

Reddy’s league is more fun than stressful. There’s not too many extreme pressure situations where everyone is counting on you to win the game. It’s just a group of people looking to have fun doing something they love.

“There’s gonna be a handful of guys who still take it very seriously, but most people don’t and most people are okay with not giving you grief if you make an error,” said Reddy. “We try to pick each other up, and we’re all adults, so it’s not like we end up giving each other a lost of grief.”

However, not every team is as easy going as Reddy’s when it comes to gameplay. Other teams can be rather harsh and critical of player errors.

“You can see some teams though that don’t have that message in there heads about how to treat one another and I always think to myself, ‘Oh man, I’m glad I’m not playing on the team!’” said Reddy. “It just doesn’t look like fun.

Reddy is not the only teacher who continued his athletic career after graduation. JMG teacher Brian Heal plays not one, but four different sports. Heal is able to balance his teaching duties all while maintaining multiple athletics.

“I play basketball once a week and I play on a corporate co-ed softball team,” said Heal.  “I play golf too, but that’s really a lifetime sport and I also play a bit of tennis.”

Heal knows it’s not easy to manage a career as well as outside activities but he finds ways to fit it into his busy schedule. He sees sports as an extremely important part of his life.

“You just gotta make time for it. For me it’s important to play and stay in shape, but it also allows me some social time,” said Heal.

Heal’s team is similar to Reddy’s in a sense that it is more for fun and recreation. It provides him time so he can simply enjoy playing the sports he loves.  

“They aren’t very competitive and I played basketball at a college level and it was very competitive, but those days are behind me,” Heal said. “For me it’s strictly health related along with the social environment.”

Although there is less competition, Heal still finds playing to be very entertaining. He is free to enjoy himself without having to suffer from the stress of making a mistake as one would face while playing high school or college sports.  

“I did enjoy competition, but that can go overboard,” Heal said. “For us there’s no practice or anything like that. As a high school or college athlete, you’re practicing and training and doing all these other things to get better, but with this, [Heals current league] people are competitive during the games, but once the games done it’s over.”

No matter age career or skill level anyone can continue to play sports after graduation. High school teachers are proof that anyone can find a way to fit sports into their daily life and continue receiving the social and health benefits that come with playing.

“You tend to have a lot in common with the people you play those sports with and it’s a great chance to be healthy and active and social,” Heal said.

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The student news site of Biddeford High School in Biddeford, Maine
Teachers prove that athletic careers don’t end after high school