Here at CCHS, there is a palpable atmosphere of excellence both in and out of the classroom. Students make it their mission to achieve in all facets of life, and this sort of motivation is so often manifested in medals or trophies, report cards or honor rolls, club presidencies or sports captaincies. However, the combined achievements of all past grades pale in comparison to the achievements of the current eighth graders, a group who will, in just three shorts months, be wandering the halls of CCHS as disoriented, lost, confused, and naïve freshmen. But, no matter how youthfully bewildered they seem, there’s no mistaking one thing: the incoming freshmen are undoubtedly, assuredly, undeniably, unprecedentedly more accomplished than we.
You may be asking yourself why, exactly, I have made this sweeping assertion, especially in light of countless successful CCHS students. But let me introduce you to the incoming freshman class, of which 47 students are Olympians. That’s right: 47! This number may seem shockingly high to you, but remember that the culture of achievement at CCHS has only been mounting in the past few years, and apparently this sort of pressure has finally culminated in a class made up of nearly 1/5 Olympic athletes. This large cohort of gifted children includes 7 archers, 3 boxers, 6 kayakers, 8 fencers, 3 table tennis players, 2 wrestlers, 6 bobsledders, 4 curlers, 2 speed skaters, 3 snowboarders, and 3 ice hocker players. Whew!
At a recent press conference held at the Concord Town Hall, the 47 talented eight graders took time out of their busy schedules to grace us common folk with their presence and words. They spoke under their publicists’ condition of anonymity, concerned that the Voice’s immense popularity would too quickly expose the children to the public eye.
One talented young boxer comments, “It’s, like, not a huge deal, I guess, except that I’m basically more accomplished than pretty much anyone else in the entire school.” Upon being notified that there are 46 other Olympians in her grade, the girl, revealing just a flicker of annoyance, declined to comment. Another boy, an archer who learned his craft after having survived in the Alaskan wilderness for two years with only a bow and arrow to hunt with, says, “I like archery, I guess, but mostly it’s great that colleges can’t really turn me down now.” It’s great to see our student-athletes so dedicated to their passions! When asked how he balances schoolwork and daily practices, a talented bobsledder notes that he has gotten really good at doing his homework while inside of his bobsleigh, although “the speed of the bobsleigh descent makes it kinda hard to write legibly”. This habit has, he admits, been strongly discouraged by his coaches and parents. Rachel Dettelbach, an agile and quick-handed table tennis player who graciously allowed her name to be used (and forgot to explicitly mandate anonymity), says she “can’t wait” to grace the halls of CCHS next year. “Yeah, it’s super duper cool to play table tennis, and especially neat that the school is building a separate table tennis arena just for me.” When asked how she feels when people refer to her sport as ‘ping-pong’, Rachel flipped her hair dismissively and said, “Next question.”
All in all, the accomplishments of the rising freshmen are not to be taken lightly, and the extraordinary number of Olympic athletes at CC has led the Olympic planning committee to take steps to accommodate our talented local superstars. There will be a special CCHS airplane flying to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to deliver our local heroes to their destinies, and at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there will be a CCHS building to house the next generation of young Olympians, who are currently dominating their middle school gym classes.
So look out for the incoming freshmen class, who are redefining what it means to be a student-athlete, much to the irritation of their upperclassmen peers. The age-old hostility toward freshmen may be slightly augmented as a result of next year’s students’ superior achievements, but it is important that we bask in the glory of our peers’ success instead of feeling eclipsed by their supremacy and shadowed by our own short-comings. The whole school should embrace with open arms our (and the world’s) 47 youngest Olympians, some of whom have been tearing up the international sports scene since age 5, and all of whom will no doubt be welcomed onto our varsity sports teams with enthusiasm by everyone except the other players.