West Charlotte High School student athletes gain confidence on team building excursion

- It starts just like any other away game for this group of athletes at West Charlotte High School, but this time, they don’t know their opponent, or the playing field.

They only found out when they got off the bus at Carowinds. 

“I’m not ready, I’m scared of heights,” said West Charlotte star basketball player Patrick Williams.

Ready or not, the game was about to begin. The 12 student athletes that went on the excursion-- basketball players, football players and soccer players-- were divided into two teams with one goal: Win.

Performance coach Jeremy Boone, the organizer of the game, who’s worked with everyone from professional athletes down to high schoolers gave the students their mission. In order to win, every member of the team had to ride all seven roller coasters on their sheet in an hour and 45 minutes. 

First up, was the Nighthawk for both teams, and the students quickly realized it was going to be a team effort, but with a little encouragement they all got on.

“Them just encouraging me and staying with me, helped me get through,” said Williams.

The teams split up after that, going to the Elctrospin, the Carolina Cyclone, the Afterburn and Richochet. 

Then it was time for the big ones like Fury 325 which reaches a maximum height of 325 feet and goes as fast as 95 miles per hour

While encouragement worked for the previous rides, team one could not convince everyone to tackle one of the tallest and fastest coasters in the world

“Me and Patrick, we did not get on it the first time,” said soccer player Imani Moore. “I do not like heights at all, so when I got on there I just had to keep thinking if I don’t do it, I’m going to let my team down.”

Moore got on the second time around, but Patrick didn’t budge. 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I tried,” he said.

Group two got their whole team on Fury, but volleyball player Kennadll White doesn’t really remember it. 

“I passed out,” she explained. “I could hear them but my body was limp, I couldn’t open my eyes.”

Luckily there was one more to go, the Intimidator, and after some convincing Patrick was back in the game. 

Both teams finished with smiles on their faces, and while group two won, everyone learned something about leadership and overcoming fears. 

“Just lets you know that even though you’re afraid you can still do it,” said Moore.

“it’s never as bad as it seems,” said Williams.  “every roller coaster here seemed like it was going to be just the worst, but once you get on it and conquer it, it’s not that bad.”

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