The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

With the Girls Varsity Handball Team on a roll, players talk learning to love the game

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Samira Li
Players share experiences on the Girls Varsity Handball team.
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With popular varsity teams such as basketball, track, and soccer often dominating schoolwide announcements and media coverage, many lesser-known teams remain unheard of to many Harrisites. One team, in particular, deserves the spotlight: the Girls Varsity Handball Team, which is currently leading their division, with seven wins and one loss so far. With such a positive record, it would be easy to assume that the team’s top players had been active in the sport for years prior to high school, but most girls admit to never having been on a handball court before playing for THHS. 

Junior Zuzia Smolaga, who plays first doubles, was only introduced to handball in her sophomore year. “I joined with a couple of friends and immediately fell in love with the sport,” she said. “Granted, I did have a purple hand for the first two weeks, but I continued going to practice and eventually ended up in my starting position.” 

Sophomore Jasleen Banga also only has one year of experience on the team. “I thought it’d be fun to learn with my friend, so we both ended up trying out and joining,” she said. “​​The game requires minimal equipment, just a ball, gloves, and a court to play on,” said Jasleen. 

“Before I started out, I had no idea what the sport even was,” said junior Samira Li. When starting out in her freshman year, her lack of experience did not discourage her from getting out on the court. 

“Thanks to the guidance of the upperclassmen, I managed to start out as a second doubles player and eventually worked my way up to third singles, my current position. I’ve been able to learn a lot and [grow] to love handball, even participating in tournaments and still playing over the summer,” she said. 

For many players, the team has created a new home away from home. “I love the handball team so much, and it makes my spring so much better that I get to see them at practice almost every day,” said Zuzia.

“One of my highlights of handball was our Coney Island trip last year after one of our games. Going to the beach after a long, hot day of playing was so relaxing. I wouldn’t trade this sport or team for the world.” 

Samira said, “I was a little unsure [about joining] at first since I didn’t know anyone else, but as I stayed and got to know the team, I made many new friends that I’m so grateful to have met. I’ve been able to learn a lot and grew to love handball.”

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About the Contributor
Samira Li
Samira Li, Photography Editor
Samira is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys photography and art, especially digital art, and she loves playing sports, such as table tennis, tennis, handball, etc. She’s also been on the robotics team her entire time in high school and is incredibly passionate for it.
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