Humans of Harker: Strongest as a team

Jared Anderson values the influence of team sports

%22Football+taught+me+how+to+work+hard+and+play+with+teammates.+Most+importantly%2C+it+has+given+me+my+best+friends%2C%22+Jared+Anderson+%28120+said.
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Humans of Harker: Strongest as a team

"Football taught me how to work hard and play with teammates. Most importantly, it has given me my best friends," Jared Anderson (120 said.

Eric Fang

"Football taught me how to work hard and play with teammates. Most importantly, it has given me my best friends," Jared Anderson (120 said.

Eric Fang

Eric Fang

"Football taught me how to work hard and play with teammates. Most importantly, it has given me my best friends," Jared Anderson (120 said.

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Jared Anderson’s grey eyes stared down the soccer ball in the palm of his hand, concentrating on performing the trick he rehearsed countless times. With a flash, his palm turned and the ball dropped… fast. His right foot, sheathed in black Adidas socks and white Nike cleats, rose to meet the ball. With a hollow thud, the ball bounced up, came to face level, and began its journey back down. This time with the left foot. Thud. Right foot. Thud.

All the while Jared’s face remained stoic, eyes following the ball as it travelled up then down, over and over. Finally, after several minutes, Jared let the ball fall to the grass with a slight rustle – a smile emerging on his face.

Juggling a soccer ball represents only one of many athletic skills Jared has mastered over the years. In addition to playing soccer for most of his life, Jared has also experimented with countless other physically active extracurriculars. In addition to soccer, he values football and dance as some of his favorite activities.

“I’ve always been a really active person in general,” Jared said. “Besides playing Varsity football and soccer for the past four years, I was also involved in Downbeat my sophomore and junior years. Before that, I have been playing club soccer my whole life.”

Jared sees sports as an avenue to express his competitiveness and often enjoys reflecting on the past to see how much he has grown as an athlete.

“I think one of the most important aspects of sports is the feeling of improvement,” he said. “Even though it takes a really long time to get good at pretty much anything in a sport, It feels really rewarding to finally do it well in a game, beating out competitors.”

Whenever Jared feels that a game is not going well, he likes to feel confident that his teammates have his back. That is one of the many reasons why Jared values team sports over many individual sports. Further, he loves to share both his struggles and his accomplishments with others – some of his most memorable sports memories are of celebrations after a victorious game.

“It’s amazing to be a part of a team where the game is literally just going into people at one hundred percent speed and the goal is to beat them,” he said. “It feels so good to know that something is the result of a team effort and not just one guy.”

Jared’s inspiration for pursuing sports stems from family bonding events of his childhood.

“I started playing [football] when I was 12 because my family and I had often watched the sport together on the TV,” Jared said. “I wanted to play a lot earlier but my parents didn’t let me until I was that age, because they were worried about me getting head injuries and the risk of playing such a tough violent sport.”

Since then, Jared believes he has created invaluable friends and learned invaluable life skills.

“Well, football taught me how to work hard and play with teammates,” he said emphatically. “Most importantly, it has given me my best friends.”

Jared’s friend, Charlie Molin (12), believes Jared’s motivational skills from football translates to being one of the school’s most spirited students.

“He’s always pumping up the football and soccer teams and this is always kind of reflected in spirit events and in our everyday conversations,” Charlie said.

Jeff Sutton, Jared’s psychology teacher, would agree. Over the past year, Sutton believes Jared has been able to combine classroom academics with his spirited, outgoing personality.

“His spirit definitely translates to the classroom,” Sutton said. “One thing that he and Charlie worked together on together was a podcast that highlighted some of the research done in psychology, and it was very spirited, lively, engaging for the listener. He was entertaining but also very informative.”

In the end, Jared hopes to carry on the football skills learned at Harker to his future college.

“I think I would value football over most other sports I’ve played because I hope to keep playing it in college,” Jared said. “The sport has just played such a central role throughout my life and it’s hard to see a version of me that isn’t running routes or catching balls at some point in the year.”