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The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The Benefits of Joining a High School Sport

A memory I captured throughout last year’s lacrosse season of my teammates, Lauren Urquico(11), Kailey Dinh (11), Makenna Maloof (10), and Mckenzi Reiter (10) on one of our bus rides to a game.

Yorba Linda High School is home to a variety of sports for all students to enjoy and take part in. As a junior at Yorba Linda High School, I have tried out three school sports– cross country, lacrosse, and flag football. I have seen firsthand the benefits of being a part of a sports team in high school. These sports have opened me to new people and friends, exercise, a stress relief system, and more. Many students at school take part in at least one sports program, and I think it truly benefits their high school experience for a multitude of reasons, such as effective habits for life and an overwhelmingly open world of possible friendships.


Many athletes at school not only excel in their athletics but also in their academics. The time sports take up on top of a heavy course load is worth the real-world experiences it gives students about responsibility and time management. As a student taking seven classes this year, four of which are Advanced Placement and playing two sports, I understand the pressure and lack of time a student-athlete has to struggle with. Still, I would always choose to play a sport again because all the memories and experiences I have earned make the heavy schedule worth it. Nevertheless, student-athletes learn many valuable skills, such as managing their busy schedule so they can get all their homework done on time, making it to practice, and studying for upcoming tests. Student Athlete Giana Mejia (11) agrees that being on women’s basketball has helped her life for the better, “Being on the girls basketball team has helped me create a new work ethic and habits. I’ve learned to give me 100% in everything I do, while also balancing everything I have on my plate.” Clearly, the school’s athletic programs provide students with a great skill set that they can implement into their future. Even though being a student and an athlete can be difficult for high schoolers, the lessons that are gained from it make the whole experience worthwhile.


It’s hard doing school while in a sport, but it has taught me much more efficient work habits.


Furthermore, doing a high school sport can open a student up to more opportunities and new people. Many of the friends I have made over my years at Yorba Linda High School have been found through sports. Being able to depend on my teammates during my freshman year when I did not know where anything was or how high school worked improved my experience. Gabbie Roach (10)–a flag football and women’s lacrosse student-athlete–believes that sports helped her meet new people. “Doing sports at YL has allowed me to meet new people from different backgrounds and make friends with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met if it wasn’t for sports.”

Doing sports at YL has given me the opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds and make friends with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met if it wasn’t for sports

— Gabbie Roach


Overall, sports can influence the lives of many students on campus for the better. Through my and Gabbie’s experiences, it becomes pretty clear that a student wishing to be involved on campus and gain lifelong friendships can turn to any sports program on campus to access these experiences.


All in all, there have been some late nights and early mornings as a high school student-athlete, but I would never take back the laughter and joy I have received from participating in these programs. Sometimes, the best parts of my days are practicing to laugh and play with my teammates, and the experience is something all students should experience. I don’t know where I would be without joining the sports programs and meeting the people I did. Furthermore, I believe school sports will impact everyone’s life for the better because they will learn more and expand their circle more than ever before. Through my own and my fellow student athletes’ experiences, I think that it is essential that students try to get involved with a sport and that their lives will be better for it.


Lauren Urquico (11) setting up to grab possession of the ball during the draw.
Getting hype for game day, Faith Alam (11) runs through the line of her teammates with her lacrosse stick up in the air.
View Comments (9)
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About the Contributor
Lili Sebestyen
Lili Sebestyen, Photojournalist
Lili Sebestyen is a junior at Yorba Linda High School. At school, she is a part of ASB, varsity lacrosse, flag football, and various clubs such as NHS, PTSA, and Dreamcatchers. Her hobbies include painting, playing the ukulele and guitar, reading books, and writing music. She loves to try new things and meet new people. Her favorite activity is spending time with her friends, family, and many pets. This is Lili’s first year as part of The Wrangler, and she is so excited for the coming year! 

Comments (9)

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  • E

    Emma SafariNov 30, 2023 at 7:44 AM

    I’ve learned that although being a student athlete is extremely difficult, it can lead to many new friendships and experiences! Great article!

  • T

    Tiffany ImNov 30, 2023 at 7:44 AM

    I agree, playing high school sports provides valuable experience that cannot be replicated otherwise!

  • A

    AyeshaNov 30, 2023 at 7:41 AM

    I agree with your article, joining a school sport has encouraged me to keep my grades up to be allowed to play and also gave me a sense of dedication by the amount of time we spend practicing and at games which sometimes take all day.

  • I

    Imaan MotenNov 30, 2023 at 7:40 AM

    I love sports at YLHS! I totally agree with all your insights and the article is so well written.

  • C

    Christie KilaghbianNov 30, 2023 at 7:38 AM

    I totally agree with this article! Well said Lili!

  • J

    Jennalyn UrquicoNov 30, 2023 at 7:34 AM

    This was such a great article!! Good job Lili!

  • G

    Giana V MejiaNov 30, 2023 at 7:27 AM

    At times, I struggle to balance school and sports, but it has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and make new habits.

  • J

    JourneyNov 16, 2023 at 7:37 AM

    I agree with all the points you brought up!

  • M

    Mylie BrownNov 16, 2023 at 7:37 AM

    I love this article, Lili! It makes me want to join a sport