Dom Bravo: The Challenges Faced by an Elite High School Athlete.

Sports have provided a much-needed release from the every-day stresses and generally mysterious nature of the time we are living in today. After a long day of school, nothing is better than sitting down, grabbing a snack, and watching a game on your own cozy couch. Well… almost everything. The one thing that takes the cake is being right there in the action whether on the field, court, or pool. When it comes to high school sports, we all wish we could create our own separate “bubble” like the many professional leagues have this past year, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Many athletes here at Bellarmine would be in the heat of their season had it been a perfectly normal year, but as we are all well-aware of, normal is out of the picture. Instead, athletes have been forced to get to work in whatever way they can, from a makeshift home work-out to anything else one can think of. This has been just the case for Bellarmine Varsity lacrosse player, Dom Bravo.

I was able to speak with Dom about the various challenges he has faced this year as an individual athlete on top of the team as a whole. Dom has had a very accomplished carrier here at Bellarmine meriting scouting from various colleges in hopes of performing at the next level. Dom spoke on the fact that this process became exponentially more difficult in the face of COVID and that “Most kids never ended up getting the opportunity to receive an offer simply because their parents did not allow them to go to tournaments during this pandemic or just did not make a highlight tape for colleges to see.” He continued, asserting that “That aspect of it is definitely unfair because the school has no idea if they are hard workers or just respectable kids.” In spite of all of these challenges Dom spoke on what it took to receive an offer for the next level of play and the challenges in that process itself: “There were definitely tons of challenges in order to finally receive that offer, but in the end, I think perseverance and hard work allowed me to get to the next level.” Dom mentioned that he met his main challenge in his sophomore season noting that coming off of a spectacular freshman year, his expectations were initially misconstrued, and he learned a lot from that realization. With that in mind, Dom continued his push towards success and improvement, and after a few more years of hard work and perseverance, Dom made a commitment to play Division 1 lacrosse at Drexel University.

When I asked Dom about how it feels to be committed in such a confusing and stressful time amidst such a crazy year, Dom said that it definitely makes him “feel at ease being committed…but I wouldn’t say I completely feel solace. Especially because I am a person who is never fully satisfied. I am always hungry for more no matter what the situation is. Not only can this trait of striving for more help you in athletics but it can also help you with anything in life such as jobs and school.” Hearing this really revealed how dedicated Dom has been in these past four years, and the commitment he has made to the game he loves. Even with this though, Dom knows the road does not end here, and he is eager to get onto the field and remind everyone what he is capable of. Like many other senior athletes this year, Dom does not take his ability to play high school sports for granted, and given the chance, he would jump at the opportunity of playing lacrosse in his final year in high school.

Luckily for him and all our senior athletes, our ability to prioritize staying safe and healthy in these times has helped in making great ground towards sports seasons this year. With the recent news and the various options now becoming available, it looks like we all might have a chance to play in our senior seasons no matter in what form they may come. I wish good luck to Dom and all the other athletes hoping to compete in their seasons this year and that we all stay safe and healthy in this unprecedented time in our lives.

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