Gym Class Heroes: Do it for the Wristband

Field hockey player Nicole Quinlan shows her skills on the gym court.
Field hockey player Nicole Quinlan shows her skills on the gym court.

By: Kitty H

To many students at Duxbury High School, physical education is much more than a simple class; it is a lifestyle. Students have the chance to de-stress, while getting exercise and seeing friends.

Mr. McPhillips, a gym teacher and trainer, said, “[Gym] is a time to get out of a chair and exercise, learn, and have some social interaction.” He added that students appreciate the break in the school day. Senior Marie S said, “[Gym class] is a good way to let off stress.”

DHS offers four different gym classes that run regularly during the school year. Freshmen are required to take Intro to PE, which McPhillips said allows them to “experience the other courses” that they might take in later years. After freshman year, students choose between Sports Strength and Conditioning, Project Adventure, and Team Sports to fill their four semester requirement.

With plenty of options, some students believe that Team Sports is the most valuable class. Junior Abby J said, “Everybody enjoys competing against each other, we all have competitive attitudes and want to win [the championships].” While Abby has never taken Project Adventure herself, she has friends who have enjoyed it. However, according to Marie, “Team Sports is the way to go.”

Competitiveness is not the only thing driving students to take Team Sports. The green wristbands given to championship teams have become sacred to some. Junior Bobby P is hoping for a wristband this year. Bobby is on the quest for the perfect championship team and he said, “I’m feeling good about handball.”

Even freshmen, who do not get wristbands for winning, are looking forward to Team Sports. After hearing about them from upperclassmen, freshman Molly N said, “I dream of one day acquiring so many wristbands I can swim in them.” Sophomore Siobhan T’s lifelong goal is to be gym class hero.

But do people go too far for bragging rights? Minor injuries in gym class are not unusual, ranging from jammed fingers to slight bruises. However, gym class activities have taken a bad turn more than once. Marie remembers a senior last year getting a concussion during volleyball, after “being clotheslined by the net.” Additionally, black eyes are known to happen during the field hockey unit. Recently, there was a “severe, non-contact injury to a student,” said McPhillips, but he said, “[this is] the first injury of this type to my knowledge.”

Most students feel safe in gym class, and the threat of injury has not deterred the ferocity and energy that characterizes the Duxbury classes. Junior Justin E does not fear serious injury, and Abby is only afraid of getting hit in the face with a ball at worst. Bobby said that DHS is known for its intensity, and he hopes that it will never go away.

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