Seniors Lindsay Cullen and Taylor Adsit have had active sports careers at Newburyport High School.
Lindsay has run track year round since she was a sophomore. “I started doing track as a fun thing,” she explained to me. “I started out sprinting because that was what my friends were doing. When I switched to running distance I found I liked it a lot.”
For Thayer the constant was soccer. “I started playing soccer when I was five and have played ever since all through high school,” he said. “I had older brothers already playing soccer. I got into track in middle school and through Hershey’s Track and Field program.”
Thayer was very positive about participating in high school athletics. “I like sports because they really clear my mind,” he said. “Academics and sports work well together for me.”
Lindsay explained that in order to run competitively for Newburyport High she had to make some tough choices. “I started dancing when I was three and ski racing (at Bretton Woods) when I was six. There just wasn’t time to continue with them and run track in high school and keep up with the academics, so I gave up dancing and ski racing.”
Lindsay informed me that the school schedule helps her to stay organized academically. “Classes are every other day so planning is easier.”
Both have excelled in the classroom with a minimum of parental involvement. “I tend to push myself quite hard to get things done,” said Lindsay. “My mom knows I can do the work and if I need help she’s there.”
“My parents are very hands off,” said Thayer. “They don’t put pressure on me.
Neither student admitted to using any sort of planner. “My plans are all in my head,” Thayer laughed, “but it is important not to procrastinate. That keeps everything fresh and things don’t pile up because you’ve forgotten something.”
The weekends were important for Lindsay. “That’s when I think about the week ahead. If there is a track meet coming up I know that I will have to get more schoolwork done the night before the meet. It’s just planning ahead and making choices.”
Both have made college choices. “I will be attending Bates (note the sweatshirt in the picture) because of my interest in liberal arts,” said Lindsay. “It is a Division 3 school and I expect to continue running cross country and track and field. I have already met the coach.”
Thayer is going to go to Cornell. “I’m really into engineering,” he said, “and Cornell is one of the top engineering schools in the country.
Thayer is realistic about his chances of competing athletically at a Division 1 school. “Soccer is out and it will be very hard to get on their track team. I plan to run year round and try intramural soccer and maybe some new sport.”
Both turned down the idea of becoming sports officials but coaching was a different story. “I have thought about coaching track although I haven’t been in it that long, “said Lindsay. “I will be helping in the Hershey program this summer and that involves some assistant coaching. That should give me a better idea about whether I would like it or not.”
“I think that coaching soccer would be really cool,” said Thayer. “I have been too busy to actually do it yet but it is a great way to extend playing soccer. All of the soccer coaches I’ve had, played with us and had a great time.”
Both students have an idea of what they will be doing when their college schooling is over. “I think that I will be doing mechanical engineering,” said Thayer. “
“I think that I’ll be doing something connected to education,” said Lindsay. “I want to be a teacher.”
Lindsay and Thayer figured out how to succeed in the classroom and in athletics at Newburyport High School. That “figuring out” ability should enable them to do very well in college as a result.
( This article appeared in The Town Common on May 27, 2009. )