No “I” in Team


Photo by: James Schaap

The Baseball team high-fives each other after a successful run at a Varsity game.

The famous proverb, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” stands true with sports teams.

At Cam High, an increasing number of team-building programs and exercises are being brought onto the playing field. Since 2011, teams at Cam high have been adopting new programs and exercises to make the freshmen feel like they are more of a family.

In every sport, even individual sports, the players need to be connected with each other in order to promote a sense of individual efforts coming together toward a common goal.


“The seniors and juniors help each other out. We host a couple of tournaments working and setting it up together, which brings them closer,” said Rob Vandermay, head volleyball coach. “At our practices the teams are mixed together, forcing them to talk to each other. All this promotes the idea of team unity. The girls varsity also ‘adopts’ a freshman or other new player in a program they started calling ‘secret sister’. The girls exchange gifts and help each other grow.”

Jillian Alo, junior and varsity player on the girl’s team, has adopted a freshman this year. ” Through this partnership we work together at practice. We both have a common goal of getting better at the sport we love. I love secret sister because it reminds me of being a family,” said Alo.

Tanner Kasso, freshman on the boys team, said, “Even though we don’t have a secret brothers program, junior varsity came and talked to us [freshmen]. It made us feel like we could go to them for help.”


Kevin Buddhu, head swim coach for boys, said, “We partner the “new guys” with an experienced swimmer.”

Faraz Mohsenian, a varsity senior, has been paired with Hunter Skajjez, freshman. “I motivate him, I am constantly on him, helping him. It makes me feel happy when he gets better. It drives me to get better too. When I leave, I want him to be better than me,” said Faraz.


John Gonzalez, head baseball coach, said, “The teams go out to dinners at least once or twice a week after practice. We do team activities, such as volunteer work or just going to basketball games as a team.”

Andy Morales, a varsity senior, said, “It’s a bonding experience. It’s just nice, we all get along and we try to help each other as much as we can. We are one big family.”

Currently only half the sports at Cam high embrace athletic unity within their teams, but more are searching for their own unique way to incorporate team building exercises. A direct correlation is shown between winning and team building at Cam High. Over the past five years an increase in games won supports the notion that team building helps teams competitively as well.