- Student Life
There are so many reasons why the athletic program at Penn Charter stands out to me.
I could begin with talking about the facilities at Penn Charter: three grass playing fields, three synthetic turf fields, an all-weather eight-lane track, wrestling rooms, seven tennis courts, ten squash courts, four basketball courts, and a swimming pool. I could also tell you how excited I am for the new Graham Athletics and Wellness Center that will be completed in Summer 2021. However, it’s not just the state-of-the-art facilities available to students that make our program unique. It is the supportive coaches and teammates that make the Penn Charter athletic experience so memorable.
My experience with PC athletics has been nothing short of exceptional.
Heading into freshman year, I didn’t know many people who attended the school, but that all quickly changed during the Fall sports season. Athletics have always been a wonderful way for students to bond with one another and form lifelong friendships. For me, summer pre-season served as a great opportunity to make friends at Penn Charter before the school year officially started. During those initial football practices, I met a wonderful group of students that I am still very close with to this day. We learned to work as part of a team and support each other every step of the way.
Working together was not only taught on the field, but also through several off-campus team-building activities. After practices, the entire team would frequently get together to bond and make sure that everyone felt connected. Some of these activities also included paintballing and attending Phillies games together. This helped my teammates and I form strong relationships throughout my years at Penn Charter, whether it was during practice, in the classroom, or outside of our school activities.
In addition to bringing students together, the coaches are incredibly devoted to their teams, and work to make sure that players are physically and mentally prepared to play. One of my favorite places on campus is the Blaine Center, where the coaches are great at encouraging us to be our best selves both on and off the field. They want us to succeed as much as we do, and they are the reason that ultimately we achieve our goals. I always look forward to lifting and conditioning with John Estok before and after a 2-3 hour practice. He is the head strength and conditioning coach and always makes sure that we are appropriately prepared for our practices and games.
We not only want to achieve success for ourselves, but share in the successes of others as well. Whether in the Blaine Center or out on the field, my teammates and I find ways to push and encourage each other. This can be seen during practices, where we help each other strengthen important skills and cheer each other on as we work to improve.
Coaches always emphasize how school comes before sports, and frequently work to instill in players the importance of time management.
In my experience, coaches are incredibly supportive of student-athletes both on and off the field. This not only includes how they are performing during practice or games, but monitoring how a student is navigating the balance between their academic and athletic responsibilities. Coaches always emphasize how school comes before sports, and frequently work to instill in players the importance of time management. Whether you have to meet with a teacher to complete an assignment or you just need to get caught up on some work that you missed, I have always found my coaches to be supportive of my role as a student-athlete inside and outside of the classroom. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today and I am so very grateful to have them.
Being a student-athlete at Penn Charter is more than just a privilege. To me, being a student-athlete has allowed me to develop academically, athletically, and personally. I have strengthened my time management skills by learning how to make sure that all of my work gets done both on and off the field, sharpened technical skills that have helped me develop as a player, and formed lasting friendships with teammates that have continued to support me in my journey throughout high school.
From my perspective, there is nothing quite like how Penn Charter that really takes the concept of a “student-athlete” to heart and ensures that those who are interested in pursuing their sport at the collegiate level are incredibly prepared for what awaits them in the future.
By Nick M., Class of 2022
- Middle School
- Upper School