The Now-Leader welcomed these three young athletes to its newsroom on Wednesday the only way it knows how – by making them write. (Photos: Amy Reid)

Take Our Kids to Work Day

Sure, these young Surrey athletes can play but can they write?

We asked our Now-Leader kids to share their passions for sport – and they hit it out of the park

The Now-Leader was proud to welcome three amazing young athletes to its newsroom on Wednesday for Take Our Kids to Work Day. Because each teen plays a different sport at a competitive level, we thought it would be fun to ask them what makes their chosen sport superior over the others.

We gave them 200 words to make their case, but, like real reporters, a few wrote much longer. It would seem we have some future journalists on our hands.

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KATELYN FOUBERT, 14 (Daughter of Christy Foubert, circulation supervisor)

Baseball is the greatest

The smell of fresh-cut grass, the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you sprint hastily around the bases and the feel of the rough stitches of the baseball roll off your fingers before it cuts through the air.

These are only a few things I love about the game of baseball. I’ve been playing since I was eight years old and my love for the game has only grown since. The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met have only made me into a better ball player.

I love the excitement of walking up to the plate, baseball bat in hand, ready to stand my ground and not let any pitch get by me. All eyes are on the pitcher, and as the ball is released, all eyes turn to me. The feel of the bat connecting with the ball and knowing it hit the juiciest spot on the bat is more satisfying than anything. Nothing beats seeing the ball fly through the air and knowing that you did that.

Yup, it feels pretty good.

But it’s not just about hitting. The fact that I play baseball – and not softball – means that I’m pretty much the only girl on my team. I play with boys that push me to be better, to be stronger, to show them that I deserve to be there. In the past, I’ve had coaches who didn’t see me as a ball player, but as a girl.

But in the end, I proved to them that I am a ball player.

Yes, I am a baseball player. I am worthy of being there. I want to be there and I will.

When I’m on the mound, there have been times when boys walk up to the plate and smirk.

“Oh, it’s a girl,” they seem to be thinking. “I can easily hit off her.”

But their thoughts of me instantly change as they walk back to their dugout, after the umpire calls, “Strike three!”

Maybe that’s why I love the game so much. It’s always a challenge. There’s always a time where I fail or mess up. Striking out, fumbling a ground ball, or letting a batter hit a “dinger” off me when I pitch.

But the beauty of failing is learning from your mistakes and getting better each time.

I love baseball and I hope others do too. It’s an amazing sport but it can be extremely hard too. And as Jimmy Dugan says from the movie, A League of their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

And I believe that is why ball players are strong and tough people. They fail and fail and fail. But the difference between them and others is that they try again and get back up.

Baseball is the greatest. There’s no doubt about that.

Katelyn plays baseball with Surrey Canadian Baseball Association. Most recently, she was on Team BC 16U, an all-girls hardball team that won nationals in Halifax. Katelyn’s favourite baseball player is Jackie Robinson.

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MACAYLA SIMPSON, 14 (Daughter of Beau Simpson, Now-Leader Editor)

Volleyball is life

Volleyball is both a physical and mental sport.

Focus is key. You need to be able to maintain it the whole time. If not, you end up making a mistake and regenerating focus is tough if you aren’t mentally prepared. Once you get down on yourself, you just can’t focus the same way.

Trust in your teammates is also important. Volleyball is the type of sport where you need to put all of your trust in your teammates. If you do this, it’ll make the game so much more fun and enjoyable.

The physical aspect of volleyball is equally as important.

First of all, you are never going to excel at any sport if you don’t practice. Volleyball may look easy from the sidelines, bench or bleachers, but it is so much more than a game of “advanced hot potato” in 25 points.

In order to receive a good pass, you need to be able to have a solid platform (thumbs together, wrists down, and in ready position). Without a solid platform, you could hurt your arms, wrists, or spine.

To play in comfort and avoid getting hurt, you should wear the proper gear, like long socks, ankle and knee braces, tape for your fingers, and court shoes. Court shoes are vital in volleyball because if you ever were to run for the ball once given a bad pass, you may hurt your ankles to the point where it may be unsafe to play any further.

Volleyball is also a great way to meet new people or to become close friends with the peers on your team. Since joining club and school volleyball, I have met some people who are the coolest people to hangout with.

If you’re thinking about trying volleyball or playing it at a competitive level, make sure you are ready to commit — because if you do, you can say goodbye to most of your free time.

“Once you join volleyball, your life will become volleyball.”

Macayla is wrapping up her season with the Grade 9 Salish Secondary girls volleyball team, which is about to start playoffs. Last year, she played competitive volleyball with BC Selects.

– – –


JACOB ZILLICH, 14 (Son of Tom Zillich, Now-Leader staff writer)

Why hockey is the best sport

The best sport in the world is hockey because of the fast-paced action, the amazing plays, and the fact that it is so unpredictable, any team could win.

Hockey is the fastest sport on ice. Elite players like Connor McDavid can reach up to 40 km/h, meaning he wouldn’t be allowed to skate in a school zone.

Players reaching extremely fast speed is why hockey is so hard to ignore when it’s played on TV. Magical plays can form out of thin air, in a split second, due to the skill of the athletes. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a groundbreaking shot or a spectacular save.

Hockey is full of action and excitement, and it will keep you off of your seat for the entire game. It is wildly unpredictable, and great upsets and impossible comebacks are almost a regular occurrence. The excitement of not knowing what the result will be is one of the reasons hockey is the best sport.

The game isn’t over until the final buzzer, so don’t celebrate too early when your team has a three-goal lead with minutes left in the game, because that lead can fizzle out and become a tie in a matter of minutes.

I play goalie, I would know.

Jacob plays goalie with North Delta Bantam A1. Most recently he played on a spring team called the Krypto Knights that won gold in a tournament in Sacramento, Calif. His favourite hockey player is Brock Boeser.

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