The Student News Site of Homewood High School

The Homewood Tricorne

The Homewood Tricorne

The Student News Site of Homewood High School

The Homewood Tricorne

Athletics mentoring program pairs upperclassmen, freshmen

Patriot+Peer+Connections+mentors+and+mentees+get+to+know+each+other+during+their+session+in+August.+%0A%28Photo+contributed+by+Ganae+Gaines%29
Ganae Gaines
Patriot Peer Connections mentors and mentees get to know each other during their session in August. (Photo contributed by Ganae Gaines)

The transition into high school can be challenging, especially for student-athletes.  This year, a new mentoring program at Homewood High School, Patriot Peer Connections, will offer support and guidance to incoming freshmen athletes to help them make that transition easier. 

Toward the end of the last school year, coaches reached out to upcoming juniors and seniors who they felt would be a good fit for Patriot Peer Connections. Grades, behavior, attendance and leadership skills were taken into consideration. Applications were sent to these select student-athletes, and they were left with the choice to be a mentor in the program.  

Those who chose to be a part of the program attended a two-day training where they learned about the qualities that make up a good mentor and how to build an impactful relationship with the mentee. Mentors were expected to have a willingness to listen, a willingness to help and give back and have good time management. 

Program sponsor and former HHS coach Carol Chesnutt wants to develop strong, self-disciplined teammates and said the main motive for developing the program is to support young student-athletes.

“We felt there was a need for helping freshman athletes respond to the rigors of athletics and academics socially and emotionally,” she said.

Chesnutt believes the jump from middle school to high school is particularly challenging due to the juggling of commitments. 

“The difference is huge, especially for athletes, because so much is expected of them time management-wise,” Chesnutt said. “They needed somebody that could help them and guide them through it.” 

The program offers a structured way for the mentors to be great teammates. Developing student-athletes of outstanding character through authentic peer relationships is the mission of this program. 

Many athletes chose to participate in mentoring because of the impact they received from upperclassmen when they were freshmen. Abby Przybysz, an 11th-grade varsity volleyball player, shared her reason for joining the program. “I remember how much I looked up to older players and how I aspired to be like them,” Przyzbysz said. “I always thought the older volleyball girls were so cool when I was a freshman. I want to gain a better relationship with the upcoming freshmen girls and just be a positive role model.” 

She expects the PPC program to better athletics at Homewood across the board.

“I think it was a great addition to Homewood, and I think it will make the community and sports programs even stronger,” Przyzbysz shared. “It will add more positivity and energy throughout all sports.”

Each month, a letter of the acronym PATRIOTS is focused on and applied to the relationships between mentors and mentees. This is a way to apply characteristics of not only a good mentor but a Homewood Patriot into everyday life. For the first month, the program will focus on the letter P for pride. The mentors will emphasize these qualities in their athletic and academic lives. 

Patriot Peer Connections also greatly benefits the mentors.

 “It gives them an opportunity to self-reflect,” Chesnutt said. “What they are doing to help them be successful, whether it be on the competition field, academically, or how to be a better person. It is a very positive thing as far as growth goes. It is an opportunity to give back and leave a legacy.” 

This program can help the coaches understand the climate of their sport. They have the opportunity to see the qualities of a good teammate and leadership skills within their athletes. It builds relationships of respect between coaches and teammates. 

“In the long run here, every coach wants to enlighten their athletes to be a better person more so than just a good athlete,” Chesnutt said. “It aligns with the goals and aspirations of not only the coach but also the athletic department.”

Donate to The Homewood Tricorne
$1320
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

If you are enjoying our content, please consider donating to The Homewood Tricorne! Your donation will support the student journalists of Homewood High School and will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Homewood Tricorne
$1320
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal