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Student Athletes of FHE

Sophomore Tayler Sypien is preparing for her second year on the varsity lacrosse team. In every previous year, the team has been made up of lacrosse players from all three Forest Hills Schools. This year, however, Central is no longer a part of the team – changing the mascot from the Ranger Husky Hawks to the Bird Dogs. Tayler loves being a part of the team because of her teammates, coaches, and the team’s great chemistry on the field. In past seasons, the team has played very well. Last year, they won a lot of big games and they hope to keep improving this year. Tayler is a midfielder for the school team but plays defense for her travel team. She got a lot of playing time last year as a freshman and hopes to get even more this year. Her favorite part of the sport is “ just being with my team both on and off the field” Tayler wants to play lacrosse in college, preferably at Grand Valley State University or Michigan State. 

FHE Volleyball. Photo credits: Kathy Hoffman.

Sophomore Sami Nowak has been on both the varsity sideline and varsity competitive cheerleading teams since her freshman year. She has been cheering since the third grade and keeps doing it because “the bonds you make with the people you cheer with are great. You make new friends and always have someone to turn to if you’re sad or just have a bad day.” Her sister, Isabel Nowak, who graduated last year, was also on the sideline cheerleading team and is a huge motivation to Sami. “She always helped me when she noticed something was different and I kind of strived to be better than her.” When prompted about her favorite of the two, she answered that competitive was the clear winner. “People say cheer isn’t a sport, but doing competitive has always convinced me that it is, and performing in front of so many people has made it so much more fun. But I still love sideline.” Last year, the competitive cheerleading team made it to districts and won their conference. In competitive cheerleading, there are three separate routines, and Sami was in all of them as a freshman, which is very rare. “I would love to be in all rounds again, but I need to remember that it’s not about being in a round: it’s about who is willing to push their hardest to work through all the rounds, like how someone could have been in round one last year, and one week, they could be needed in all three, and everyone has to be willing to just jump in. It’s really impressive!”

FHE Volleyball. Photo credits: Kathy Hoffman.

Kennedy Hoffman is wrapping up her first season on the varsity volleyball team. She has been playing volleyball for 5 years and is the only sophomore on varsity. During a volleyball match, only six players are on the court and eleven girls are on the team. This makes the sport very competitive. She is on the team with her sister Riley Hoffman, she said, “It’s super fun because we have lowkey telepathy so we connect well most of the time. She pushes me, yeah, and we don’t compete but we know that Coach will do whatever is best for the team.” Last year, they lost a few seniors, leaving two spots open, however, only one was used for Kennedy. She is the youngest girl on the team and isn’t intimidated at all. “No, I’ve known most of these girls for a while because of Riley, but there’s always that extra motivation to step it up which is good.” Kennedy is a setter and a right-side hitter. She would love to play in college, “my dream would be to play at Michigan State University or Indiana University.”

FHE Volleyball. Photo credits: Kathy Hoffman.

Amber DeJong is on the varsity field hockey team. This is her second year playing, and she loves being on the varsity team. Amber is left back,  right back, and defense. This year the seniors are Katie Noon and Ellen Korest. She believes that they have led an amazing season, and she is very excited to be a senior next year. She feels that the team has had really good chemistry. “Our team has amazing chemistry, everyone is best friends!” They have had a ton of fun! “My favorite part so far has been getting to play the sport I love with the people I love, and being able to play against the top teams in the state and against national team members.”