Drea Keswater

Hello,  when the school told me I had to write something important to me, I’m pretty sure you all know what it would be. Yes this speech is partially about sailing, however, this isn’t the sailing of rich people sitting on yachts cruising all day. The sailing I'm talking about is the one where I come home with bruises on my legs, Sunburn on my face, and mental exhaustion after each practice.

When I'm on my way to a sailing event, I am the worst person to be driving with. The car ride there is silent as I am a person who doesn't want to talk to anyone. I plug in my headphones and look out the window. Sailing has gotten to the point where I show up, and no matter if I'm ready or not, I have to give my best shot. Most of the time, I have been prepared for a race both physically and mentally, while other times I have not. The difference can be seen in the race results. My four years being on the RHP sailing team has shown me that a regatta is not the place to learn new tactics and methods. That's why we have practice.

This mentality to be prepared and give it my best comes from my time playing football. I learned that if you aren’t paying attention in practice, there are consequences. How do you expect to play in a game if you don’t know the play and what your job is during the play? As a player, I have grown into a person that I can be proud of. I am there for my brothers, and I have learned that we all represent each other, as well as RHP.

One of the toughest challenges for me was coming to RHP. I had to leave behind all my friends I had grown up with, as well as other athletic teams that I had been a part of. However, coming to RHP was the best opportunity for me at the time both for sailing and academics.

 Each year has been different. Being a co-captain for a few years allowed me to develop leadership skills to benefit me now as the senior captain. As the team goes into the season this year with one of the biggest teams I’ve seen at the school, I hope we can make a good run at repeating as the Pacific Coast champs.

I left many of my friends as we all moved to high school. They asked me why, and I always said the reason was sailing because that's all I knew. However, through academics, athletics, and college apps, I now know the answer is more than sailing.

The answer is this: I would never have been able to do the activities and have the opportunities I do at prep in public school. These include developing study skills I will use in the future, becoming a world traveler, and most recently, becoming a college-bound athlete. This school is so much more than just athletics. The teachers here have shown that they actually care, and are there for us. I would be an entirely different person if I hadn’t spent these years sailing, playing football, and learning at RHP.

All I have to say at this point is thank you.