The Five Tear Plan

By Student
NEWS Reporter

Postgraduates are an indispensable facet of Mercersburg Academy’s athletic program, giving an edge to teams through their tremendous level of talent and expertise and offering leadership to younger, less experienced athletes. In previous years, PGs have proved these statements true in many ways, and this year is expected to be no different.
Mercersburg’s PG program is very competitive. Not only are PGs required to complete the regular application process, but an extensive “background check” is also done to assure they are coming for the right reasons. In fact, athletic director Rick Hendrickson clarified that when looking for PGs, The process is mostly “merit-based”, and being “the right fit” for Mercersburg, as well as being future recruits for college, is considered.
“We don’t go into it and say: okay, this kid is a football kid so he gets in, and she is a track and field athlete so she doesn’t get in…. Every postgraduate is subjected to the same procedure any other student is, which includes questions like, Are they admissible? What is their educational background? What are their test scores?”
This year there are sixteen PGs, fifteen of them being boys, and all of them competing in a variety of sports. Most discovered Mercersburg through the suggestion of coaches at the colleges they are planning or hoping to attend after graduating.
Asked about their views of the school’s athletic program, the most common answer consisted of combination of: value for the school’s sense of community; confidence in the teams’ work ethic; appreciation of coaches and facilities; and excitement to start training with teammates.
Alex Rogat, a basketball PGs who hails from Vienna, Austria, stated, ‘‘The athletic program seems to be run very professionally, and I think I speak for all of the basketball players when I say that the coaches make sure we’re in shape, and working hard in our free time.’’
However, the great expectations that are naturally placed upon a PG can be immensely stressful at first. Assistant athletic director Paul Sipes agreed that there is added pressure for PGs to succeed athletically and academically. He said, ‘‘In my opinion, PGs do have a higher level of expectation… They only have nine months to get it right… It takes a degree of confidence, self-reflection and hope to do a postgrad year.’’
Even though the beginning of their experience can seem overwhelming, Mercersburg gives its PGs the opportunity to mature further and to prepare for rigorous academic and athletic careers that will be encountered once in college, which is irreplaceable.

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