Senior Spotlight: Sydney Smith

Sports

This fall, due to lack of sporting events going on, the KO News is chronicling the experiences of senior fall athletes looking to play sports in college. First is senior volleyball Captain  Sydney Smith.

Smith has been a three-sport varsity athlete throughout her high school career, playing volleyball, squash, and tennis. She will be playing both volleyball and squash in college, which, as all athletes know, is no easy feat, especially at the next level. A little more than 7% of athletes are able to play sports in college, and Smith is in that slim percentage for two totally different sports, which goes to show how good of an athlete she is. To get to that level, Smith has trained relentlessly. “I usually try to train two hours a day, five to six days a week depending on which season I’m in,” Smith said. 

Because of the coronavirus, Smith has lost a chance, at least as of right now, to lead the girls volleyball team back to the playoffs after making a run all the way to the championship last year. If there is a season, the competition is in trouble. 

Also due to the coronavirus, college recruitment has been very different for seniors this year. Many college-bound athletes lost the ability to hone their skills playing in AAU or club tournaments. “The recruitment process was definitely tough as I was told no three times for every one time I was told yes,” said Smith. “It’s definitely a difficult and stressful time, but hard work pays off.”  

For many athletes at KO, playing in college is the ultimate athletic accomplishment. Regardless of whether it’s Division I, II, or III, getting recruited to play in college proves that you are in fact that good. “It feels good knowing that my hard work is paying off, and I’m definitely excited to continue to play in college,”  Smith said. Many college-bound athletes have played sports their whole lives trying to get to that next level.

With the effects of the pandemic, athletes worldwide slowly became more and more tense as it gave us a glimpse of what life would be like if we didn’t have sports, and it wasn’t pretty. “I’ve always seen myself playing the sports I love in college because that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life,” Smith said. “I definitely think sports are a major part of my life, and it would be really tough for me to be without them, especially in a college environment.” These are all points that all aspiring college athletes at KO have because they’ve already worked incredibly hard at their specific sport to be able to compete at a private school level. 

Smith will most certainly continue to achieve at an elite level in both sports at whatever school she decides to attend.