New PE Class Absorbs Strength Overflow

A new sports elective has emerged this year: a Physical Education class held during 9th period, which meets the fitness requirements.

The idea of having a PE class came to Vice-Principal Helen Kim when she noticed an overwhelming number of students signed up for the 9th-period Strength & Conditioning class. With more than 48 students on the list, it became clear that the group would need to be split.

Some students needed to meet fitness requirements, while many were athletes who wanted to stay active during the off-season.

“Hopefully, there are enough students who’ll overlap and that we could spread out for those who want to stay active,” Helen said.

Varsity boys soccer coach and Microeconomics teacher, Steve O’Brien, will teach the PE class, which now has 24 students and is still growing. The class meets on the newly upgraded soccer field. Unlike Strength and Conditioning class, which focuses on weight lifting and body training, PE consists of running laps around the field, stretching, participating in drills, and completing scrimmages that are centered around soccer.

Helen reached out to past players and students who demonstrated interest, and from there, word spread. Some girl soccer team players joined.

Senior Uriel Velazquez, long-time member of the Varsity boys soccer team, joined the PE class specifically to stay consistent with practicing soccer skills — not only for himself, but for the team.

“I knew that going in as a team, I would need to work on certain skills, so that by the time I went into soccer in November, I wouldn’t be so far behind,” he said.

Although the class focuses on soccer skills, anyone can join. Senior Nicole Herrera, a girls soccer player, was the first girl to join the class and recommends it to anyone because there is more to it than soccer skills.

“It’s a way to enjoy the field and it’s an inclusive environment,” she said. “It’s a new opportunity to try new things and step out of your comfort zone.”

Helen hopes many more students will join the class in the coming weeks, not just athletes.

“I also think it’s important, too, that people have a physical outlet that they can attend on a regular basis throughout the year,” she said.