Walking Off

Meet three athletes who left a sport behind

High school students must make many choices in their careers. Grades, social life, jobs and other responsibilities fill the minds of many students. One decision some have to make is the decision wheather or not to quit a sport.
Quitting a sport can change an individual’s life, and possibly the way one’s high school career goes. Some quit to concentrate on other sports, some quit because they no longer enjoy the sport, some quit to try other sports, some just need to find time for other things.
¨I quit (football) because I wasn’t enjoying myself, and if I don’t enjoy it, why play?¨ said senior Dathan Chastain.
Last year, Chastain quit football as a junior after experiencing multiple injuries and complications. Chastain does not regret his decision.
¨Why would someone regret quitting a sport? You quit for a reason, so I don’t regret quitting at all,¨ said Chastain.
Freshman Hunter Hamilton also quit football after finishing his eighth grade year. Hamilton had played since he was in third grade and decided to quit because he no longer enjoyed the sport.
¨I quit football because I didn’t enjoy the practices and it just wasn’t that enjoyable for me anymore,¨ said Hamilton.
Although Hamilton has pursued cross country to replace football, he believes he will regret quitting down the road.
¨I kind of regret quitting but I feel like I will regret it more later on,¨ said Hamilton.
Another athlete who quit a sport is senior Damian Hall. Hall quit basketball after finishing his junior year of playing. Hall had a different reason for quitting.
¨I wanted to focus on another sport. I didn’t want to quit, but I couldn’t play in baseball tournaments and play basketball at the same time,¨ said Hall.
Hall, like Hamilton, regrets quitting basketball and says he enjoyed basketball and learned a lot from it.
¨I loved being on the team and I gained the knowledge. It’s not about one person,¨ said Hall.
Hamilton recalls the relationships that being part of a team brought him.
¨I learned responsibility, respect and teamwork from football,¨ said Hamilton.
Chastain walked away with knowledge of his own strength.
“I learned strength and physicality from football,¨ said Chastain.
Although these athletes gained some things from the sport, they also gained things from quitting.
¨I was able to enjoy myself and go out and find a job,¨ said Chastain.
Hall grew in new ways after he quit basketball.
¨I’m becoming better in another sport and I have more time for other things,¨ said Hall.
Chastain and Hall both gained things from quitting, but Hamilton says that he has gained nothing. Which brings up another question to answer, do the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits of staying with it?
This is a question athletes ponder before they decide to quit and even after they quit when they no longer can participate in the sport.

Story by: Garret Vincent