Rallying Together

Groups of high school students across the district join together to play volleyball.

Sand between their toes and the fresh summer air fills their lungs, students have started sand volleyball games at Mansfield’s local parks. In the park’s sand volleyball courts a mix of Legacy and other Mansfield high school students have begun to enjoy the warm weather with some friendly competition. Junior Rylie Gaither started going two years ago and continues to enjoy her time there.

“If you have a problem with going outside then those people usually just stay at home but most of the time there’s a bunch of people there,“ Gaither said.  

COVID-19 had a slight impact on their fun. At times, parents would not allow someone from the group to go out because they were nervous about their kid getting the virus. But since play is outdoors and socially distanced, the group has continued to play regardless.

“We just get out and get some exercise and have fun with friends outside,” Gaither said. “And it’s a great way to meet new people. 

Being able to have a pleasurable time with friends helped students relieve the stress of schoolwork and family life in a healthy way. It gives students something to look forward to other than just going home and doing homework all weekend. Students have taken it among themselves to get outside and make some memories.

“There was this one time we got a ball stuck really high up in a tree and everyone was throwing stuff to try and get it down but everything else just got stuck too, that is one of my favorites,” Gaither said. 

Freshman Caroline Schlieker began to play at the park in the summer of 2019. She agrees going to play is good for students to be outside and meet new people.

“It was really just a fun social experience with lots of different people from different schools,” Schlieker said. 

Despite last summer spent inside because of quarantine, students took it amongst themselves to get outside and safely socialize.

“It got me out of the house allowing me to get exercise and improve my mental health because I needed to get out of the house and socialize and put my mind to other things other than COVID-19,” Gaither said.