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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Finding the ‘why’: how student athletes get inspired

Provided by Ashley York
Seniors Alexandra Maglaras and Ashley York share captaincy for the 2023- 2024 season. The two have played together since they were in fourth grade and motivate one another on and off the field

Injury. Burnout. Failure. 

No matter what she goes through, she can count on her friend.

For senior Ashley York, she gets all the motivation she needs from her best friend and senior Alexandra Maglaras. They work together to lead the team as captains of the varsity soccer team. Playing alongside each other since fourth grade, they’ve built a strong connection that pushes both of them to work harder, whether it be pushing themselves to get a faster mile run or squeezing out another rep in the weight room.

“When I see her working harder, it makes me want to do the same,” York said. “It makes me want to put 100% effort into anything I do. If I’m doing badly, she helps pick me up.”

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The two support each other when they can, whether it be “hyping each other up” or giving each other advice. 

I would say we’re very competitive people.” Maglaras said. “If we see one person being a super hard worker, then we want to be just as hard working and show that we’re [at the same] level. We don’t want to have one captain who looks stronger than the other.”

Co-leading the team, Maglaras said she feels responsible to set an example for her younger teammates. Even though she felt discouraged her junior year, they motivated her to continue. With the seniors graduating and underclassmen looking up to her, she knew she had to step up to the plate. 

“My major motivation is my younger teammates,” Maglaras said. “As a captain and the leader, I really have to continue to push myself to show them the standard and the work ethic needed and make sure that the team can be successful together.”

York said she feels the same way. As the oldest of four, she tries to be a good role model for her younger siblings. 

“I want to show them that putting your best effort in even though you didn’t have the best result is still fine, and that I would still be proud of them for doing that,” York said. “I hope they see that in me.”

Her family also provides a support system for her when she has a bad game.

“They would always just be there to pick me up,” York said. “They are always positive encouragement, which means the world to me. After games when I see my family on the sideline, and they’re all proud of me, it makes me really happy.

On top of having a supportive family, she derives a lot of motivation from her teammates.

“Honestly, I just play for my teammates during the game,” York said. “Seeing them work hard makes me want to work hard and just want to try my best on every play and possession.”

When junior Meaghan Lande finds herself in a dry spell of motivation, she looks to her team to keep her driven. 

“Enthusiasm from teammates can be really contagious, so I surround myself with people who also have a deep love for the game and are motivated to become better players,” Lande said. “Just thinking about not wanting to let my teammates down encourages me to go out there and give it my all every game no matter what.” 

Junior Meaghan Lande steps up to bat during a varsity playoff game. Lande is most motivated by her teammates and her father. (Provided by Meaghan Lande)

For sophomore Tony Miller, receiver for the varsity football team, motivation comes from his family as well as his team. His dad, who comes to his games, his sister, who drives him to his games, and his little brother.

“Just seeing my little brother smile after my games is really nice,” Miller said. 

While on the field, Lande remembers every time he was willing to help her train under the ‘blazing’ heat since she was 6 years old, taking it as extra motivation. 

“When he knows that I am lacking confidence, he offers me advice on how I could improve and encourages me to do my absolute best every time I step onto the field,” Lande said.

Freshman Xavier Moore, JV football wide receiver, finds his motivation in his father for a different reason- to continue a legacy. He first walked onto the field to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“We always talk about him playing football before he got injured, he was on the right track to going to the pros,” Moore said. “I started football because I wanted to fulfill what he couldn’t finish.”

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