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Still on his Feet: Amity softball's case of the Fridays

Apr 14, 2014


By Robert Husseman
Of the News-Register



AMITY – In the wake of Amity softball’s 10-5 loss to Colton on Friday, senior third baseman Amy Horton made an honest observation about her team.

“Today it seemed like not everyone was in (the game) because there was no school on Friday,” Horton said. “It’s hard because you have an off day.”

No school on Friday? Exciting! Of course, I’m still relatively new to the area, still soaking up institutional knowledge, and I must remind myself that, since 2009, Amity High School has adhered to a four-day-a-week schedule. Horton and her fellow seniors are among the second class of Warriors to complete four years without a Friday classes. Only a handful of other schools across the state have adopted this practice.

For the record, Amity softball is 1-2 on Fridays. The Warriors lost to Harrisburg, 14-1 in five innings, on March 21 and defeated Sheridan, 19-1 (5), on Apr. 4.

An excuse? Not necessarily. I don’t believe the Warriors are bad players because they’ve lost twice on Friday this season. I don’t believe Don Zapata, Amity’s head coach, is bad at his job because the players struggle on Fridays.

Still, having a day off when your peers have school is something different. Not good or bad – I cannot pretend to know every factor that went into the decision to implement the four-day week – just different. It’s fair to ask: is different good or bad in this case?

For Horton, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Friday freedom forces her to be physically prepared.

“On Fridays, I try to get up and do something,” Horton said. “Keep moving. Don’t sit around.”

Softball’s counterpart, the Amity baseball team, is 2-1 in three Friday games this year. The foremost example of Friday success would be Warriors boys basketball, which went 9-0 in regular-season Friday games before losing to Cascade Christian in the Class 3A state tournament on Friday, March 7, ending its season.

So I traded messages with a couple multi-sport athletes. How does Friday freedom work for you?

“On days we have school and games we don’t have time to take cuts in the cage,” wrote sophomore Lance Nelson, a third-team all-state player in basketball who plays baseball in the spring. “On Fridays, we can show up hours early to get focused.”

“My mind is (on) baseball instead of thinking about tests and girls and all that other stuff,” wrote sophomore Colby Graham, who also has transitioned from the hardwood to the diamond this spring. “My mind’s only on baseball.”

Ultimately, it appears Friday falls in line with making one’s bed, brushing one’s teeth and finishing homework on time. The habits formed on those days will bleed into other factors of life. That’s easy on some multi-sport athletes; perhaps it’s more difficult for single-sport athletes. I’m all for fun Fridays, but the moment a baseball or softball player steps into the dugout or on the bus, it’s time to take care of business.

Good habits are more than their own reward. They can rub off on others. If any Amity softball players have been doing too much on Thursday night or too little on Friday morning, there is more than enough time to make things right.

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