The Tri-Star Balancing Act


The Tri-Star lunch is an annual tradition at Tenafly High School in which students are honored and celebrated for their commitment to Tenafly athletics for all three sports seasons. However, being a Tri-Star athlete means far more than fulfilling a mere checklist of participating in fall, winter, and spring sports. Being a Tri-Star athlete is a sign of dedication and especially balance.

Many sports-related awards are given for excellence or performance, and although the Tri-Star luncheon is brimming with talented young athletes, track personal records or volleyball spikes aren’t on anybody’s mind. Rather, people are focusing on the pride and spirit of being a Tenafly athlete.

Tri-Star athletes enjoying the luncheon

“I’m very proud and grateful that our school recognizes Tri-Star athletes because we truly do dedicate some of the 365 days a year to practices, competitions, and individual training,” said Carmel Ohring (’20). “It’s definitely important to highlight our commitment. We really work hard, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This honor requires sacrifice, prioritization, and compromise that is often overlooked. As pizza is served and t-shirts are distributed, these athletes have time to think about what being a Tri-Star athlete means to them.

“Balancing school and athletics is nothing short of a challenge. However, such hard work and commitment truly allows for the sense of fulfillment I, and all my fellow athletes, feel right now,” said Max Beck (’19).

“It’s a grind. It can be kind of tough to balance schoolwork and sports, but it’s definitely doable with hard work and dedication. At moments like these you can feel that it’s worth it,” said Benjamin Lerner (’21).

Time and time again, Tenafly is recognized for its quality of education and athletic achievements alike. A minute with any of these students allows one to see the goals and sacrifices behind every stolen base. High school itself is a four-year push for equilibrium:  balancing time dedicated to school, sports, friends, and family. Students live in a perpetual juggling act, but these Tri-Star athletes bring a sense of enthusiasm to this strive for balance. The luncheon gives them some much earned commendation for it.

After all paper plates were disposed of and the cookie trays were devoured bare, Mr. Carollo, the high school athletic director, gave some passionate final words:  “When I think of our school’s leaders, I look back to walking outside, meeting and talking with all of you, and I really do feel that all of you are leaders and examples for this school. You commit the time. You come to practice every day. You still find time for school and everything else. But that’s just what you do. I and everyone else here are very proud of you and your commitment as a Tenafly Tiger. I hope you enjoyed this lunch as a small token of gratitude. Now, let’s take some team photos and I hope to see all our sophomores and juniors back next year along with all the freshman I know you’ll motivate.”

After photos and cleanup, the bell rang, but for a moment nobody moved, relishing in the Tri-Star luncheon’s air of accomplishment…and the faint smell of pizza.