The National Collegiate Athletic Association is one of the most prestigious associations where talented athletes come from around the United States and compete against each other at a national level. In fact, some of these former athletes are now current teachers of Northwood High School.
Steven Plette, history teacher: Track and field, UC San Diego.
Plette immediately noticed the increase in difficulty at the collegiate level of track and field.
“Everyone was the number one athlete from their high school,” Plette said. “There was no place to hide.”
Track quickly became a part of his identity, as the people he ran with became his closest friends.
“Nobody belonged to any fraternities because the team was pretty much a fraternity itself,” Plette said. “We ate, we studied, we ran—we did everything together.”
To this day, Plette’s running mates are still his best friends. His kids even call them “uncle” even though they are not related.
Greg Guy, history teacher: Lacrosse, UC Berkeley.
Guy had a tight bond with his team members from high school, but the team bond during college was far more significant.
They were on the field or the weight room seven days a week even during off season and traveled one to two times a week for games.
“The stakes felt higher when playing at the collegiate level,” Guy said. “It is a big time commitment, but you do what you love.”
A major lesson Guy learned was about camaraderie, being part of a team.
“We learned what to expect in a good teammate, and how we could be good teammates ourselves,” Guy said.
Sierra Wang, math teacher: Soccer, Oregon State University.
Wang played soccer during both fall and spring seasons, making a balance between school classes and athletics important to maintain.
“Life was hectic during season,” Wang said. “I took 12 credits which was the minimum number during season and tried to cram as many as I could during off season. I would take about 18 credits during the winter quarter.”
One of her fondest memories was during her freshman year when her team, which was the underdog in most games, won game after game.
“The soccer team the year before did terribly so we did not expect to do as well as we did,” Wang said. “We even got to travel to the east coast for a couple games.”
By her senior year, Wang decided to quit soccer to major in math.
“Soccer was conflicting with the classes I needed to major in math,“ Wang said. “It was the hardest decision I ever made to drop soccer.”
While the student athlete life may be intense, the teachers at Northwood still encourage their students to pursue collegiate level sports in the future because of the lifelong friends and unforgettable memories that are made.