I asked several former transfers what it's like to be the new kid.
When Damien Irven set foot on the football field at Spruce Creek High School on Oct. 14, 2017, he wanted to prove a point. Flagler Palm Coast’s junior defensive back wanted to prove that the team he used to play for missed out on a quality player.
Every time Irven lined up near the Hawks’ sideline, he could hear the taunts from his former teammates.
Irven, who transferred to FPC from Spruce Creek following his sophomore year, was part of a defense that led the Bulldogs to a 17-14 win over the Hawks.
Whether you like it or not, transferring has become a norm in high school athletics. Nearly every program in the area has either felt the sting of losing a talented athlete or felt the joy of adding a great player to the roster.
But what’s it like to be the new kid on the team? What’s it like to be the new kid at school?
Irven, who originally transferred from Spruce Creek to Seabreeze his freshman year before transferring back to Spruce Creek as a sophomore, said you have to be confident when you arrive at a new program.
"You've got to have a chip on your shoulder,” he said. “When you get to a new school, you're fresh meat. Nobody knows anything about you. You've just got to show everybody what you've got."
The reasons for transferring vary athlete to athlete: playing time, problems with a coach or the coaching staff, problems with teammates and so on.
For Maximus Campbell, who transferred from Spruce Creek to Atlantic at the start of the second semester in 2018, starting over with a new program — despite the familiarity of the coaching staff — took some getting used to. However, if an athlete has any doubt in his or her school, he suggested that it could be a good idea to start over somewhere else.
“If you're thinking about it, then there's a reason why you would leave that school,” the junior receiver said. “Just go ahead and do it. It'll be weird at first, but you'll get used to it."