The Gate.

Dear Keepers of the Masuk Gates, 

We, the student-athletes of Masuk, humbly ask that you let us park down by the field house. We implore you to lift the metaphorical and literal barrier that blocks us from true happiness. 

As a student-athlete myself, I would get down on my hands and knees and beg you to let us drive down to the field. Please humble gatekeepers, let us in. Open your hearts, minds and gates to let us park down by the field. 

We will cause no ill-will if we are allowed to park down there. When have we, the student-athletes at Masuk, ever caused you any emotion besides pride? Just a few weeks ago our Boys Hockey team brought home a state championship. Now many of those athletes play spring sports and use the turf field. You’re making our prized athletes suffer by forcing them to walk up and down the hill to practice, undoubtedly lowering their playing ability. When they brought home the championship they had no long walk to practice or games, undoubtedly aiding their victory. 

If you let us park down there we will gratefully accept your gift and treat it with humble regard. Many athletes have parked down there in the past and treated the privilege with the utmost respect. 

“I’ve parked down there before and I, like many others, always drive down the hill slowly, so we don’t hit anyone of course, and then I take my time parking, so I don’t hit anyone,” said senior track athlete Carrie Wittenaur. “I drive exactly like the coaches driving down, if not better. I don’t see why I cannot park down by the track.” 

All of the athletes at Masuk who use the track and turf field suffer through hard practices and then have to suffer on the half-mile walk to our cars. Yes, we did all sign up to play on our sports teams and live through the treacherous practices, but we did not sign up for the extra workout of walking back to our cars. 

And before you use the excuse that we are athletes and should be able to walk up a hill, let us remind you that of course we can walk up the hill, but we are all extremely fatigued and pained after a tremendous workout. Treading along the half-mile hill gasping for breath, hoping our sore muscles will make it to the top of the hill is not a fun way to end practice or games. 

“I’m always so sore and tired after practice and it seems like an impossible feat to travel up the hill, and track practice is right after school so my car is in the junior lot,” said junior track captain Erin Davis. “I stay at practice longer because the thought of walking to my car fills me with dread.” 

The hill seems to be even longer after a game or meet. All of us have experienced a devastating loss in a game, where we put our all out on the field. Only for the blow to be twice as bad as we realize that the winning team, our opponents, get to ride the bus back up the hill, laughing as they pass us walking slowly. They wave out the back window and make faces as tears stream down our tired ones. 

Just when we think it cannot get any worse, our coaches, who went through the game with us zip up the hill in their cars, leaving us and our pained bodies behind. Believe it or not, it gets even worse from there. Imagine all of that happening and now your parents show up trying to comfort you on the loss. This situation is undesirable to all who have experienced it and my condolences go out to you but know I have lived through it too. 

“Last year after lacrosse suffered a devastating loss, my mom kept trying to make awkward conversation with me. It took everything in me to keep going up that hill. It was a struggle,” said junior Aoife Riordan.

This may be shocking, but you, the gatekeepers of Masuk, can help us avoid all these terrible situations. You can help valued student-athletes at Masuk. You can be the change we all want to see. So please, I beg you to raise the gate to our happiness.

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