By Maggie Brandenburg
Starting at a new school can be a tough situation with the search for new friends, classes and teachers, all while trying not to get lost on a new campus. For Jordan Foyer, junior varsity volleyball player and sophomore, the shock was even greater when after her freshman year, she made the transition from University High School, one of the smallest high schools in the state to this school, the largest. That change is even harder when a whole new sports team gets thrown into the mix.
“(Carmel High School) is a heck of a lot bigger. It’s harder to get to know people,” Foyer said.
Since third grade, Foyer has been playing volleyball and competed on the varsity team for her school last year. But financial troubles and a change in the coaching staff at University led her and her family to their choice of switching schools. Foyer, however, is no stranger to Carmel. Her sister, Brooke Foyer, is a recent graduate and while Brooke played for this school, Jordan got to know the coaches, who she said also contributed to her choice.
For Jordan, the differences between the two schools were immediately apparent. For example, the student body was so small at University that their lockers did not even have locks. When volleyball practices began, she said, the distinctions became even more evident because of tougher practices and conditioning. But, none of this surprised Jordan after watching her sister play.
“I knew (the teams here were) good and they had a lot of leadership because they had six seniors,” Jordan said.
Head Coach William Bastin said he believes that the social aspect of becoming part of a new team could be the most difficult. It is like being a freshman, but harder, because a player has to intermingle with all the grades instead of having old friends in the same grade. To help the team bond, he said players have several opportunities to come in for open gym situations and gather off the court with activities at different player’s homes, play different games like kickball and even hold tailgate parties. Luckily for Foyer, she had an edge over most other new players with the social aspect of the new team setting.
“No (it was not difficult to fit in), because I knew (the other players) through my sister,” Foyer said.
Another large difference for Foyer was the difference in the conference each team plays in. University is a 1A team, the smallest school division, while Carmel is in the 4A division, the largest. According to Bastin, the distinction between the two lies in the size of the schools and the level of competition from the other teams. The 4A division is usually regarded as the tougher of the two and Foyer said she agrees that this school could beat her old school. She cited that at University, a Carmel volleyball player came to a practice and impressed the team with her skills, but surprised the entire team when she revealed that she had been cut from the team at her own school.
While Jordan said she’s had to work harder to earn a spot on the team here, she said the benefits of that hard work are also greater. For example, since this school is larger, there is a greater chance for recognition from college scouts and she said she feels that this team has more spirit.
“I miss some of the people (at University), but I think this team has a little more heart than they did,” Foyer said.