What are the first sports that come to your mind? Was it football, basketball or baseball? Part one of this two part installment, highlights a few students and teachers who prove there are sports beyond the ones offered at Sequoia.
“I’ve always had a deep affinity for the ocean and all of its creatures,” History teacher Ashley Gray said. “It seemed inevitable that I would be in there and start surfing. I just love the mental freedom that surfing provides.”
Sitting in his classroom decorated with posters of ocean creatures, Gray, a self-identified board sport athlete, said he hits the waves almost every Friday afternoon and Sunday morning with his teacher friends. The recreational surfer began in 2003 and frequents beaches in San Mateo County, Santa Cruz, Mexico, Hawaii and is looking forward to Nicaragua.
“It’s a terrific and tremendous opportunity to kinda get away from everything, because the ocean is so dynamic when you’re out on the water you have to be so present and it’s just a really cool, almost spiritual place to be,” Gray said. “As somebody who’s not religious, that’s as close to religiosity as I think I would get.”
“I realized I was just bored of being at home and doing nothing,” senior Cailey Horan said. “I live really close to Eaton Park so that [has] made it sort of convenient to go out and hike.”
Horan frequents the trails about three times a week with her mom and her friend. Recently she has joined Sequoia’s hiking club, in hopes to go with other students and encourage hikers to leave no trace. You can find her at Eaton Park, Wunderlich Park, and Pulgas Water Temple.
“[Hiking] makes you more aware of yourself and your thoughts. I think often people don’t give themselves time to think,” Horan said. “It’s just ‘I finished my homework let me watch Youtube or go talk to somebody,’ you never actually sit with your own thoughts.”
“[When I was four or five] my dad took me out to a pond, and I caught my first fish; it was just so exciting,” junior Mac Rienhoff said. “I think [fishing is] nice because I get to be by myself in really beautiful places.”
Rienhoff is starting a club at Sequoia, where a group would learn the basics of fishing and go out on the weekends. The fisherman has caught a seven-foot shark and hopes to catch a tarpin in Florida. You can catch him fishing in Sacremento, San Francisco and anywhere else there are fish.
He won a world record in 2016 for catching a black and yellow rockfish. “By the time I’m 20, the goal is to have 10 world records.”
“I wanted to do a cartwheel,” freshman Myles Bryant said. “Also I saw it on the Olympic[s] and I was like ‘wow that’s really cool I want to do that.’”
As a late starter, Bryant began gymnastics at nine and a half, in comparison to most people who start around age five. He doesn’t mind that gymnastics isn’t offered at Sequoia, as he has three hours of practice, six days a week; which already fill up his schedule. Every year he participates in seven competitions that include the events: parallel bars, high bar, vault, floor, rings, and pommel horse.
“[Gymnastics] is a challenge,” said Bryant. “It’s not just a girls sport.”