Max Cover, a Sleepy Hollow High School senior, has certainly made his mark on the track, the field, and the community. As the captain of Varsity Boys Soccer, Indoor Track and Field, and Outdoor Track and Field, his leadership qualities have had an astounding impact on the teams he’s been a part of for many years.
Cover participates in a myriad of extracurricular activities as well including Jazz Band, National Honor Society, Tri M Honor Society, Math and Science Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, English Honor Society, and Rho Kappa Honor Society. Cover works extremely hard at each activity, sport, and course that he takes on, and has been recognized as a National Merit Commended Student.
Cover’s unwavering drive to pursue his various interests is a quality he demonstrated early on. His passion for trumpet playing dates back to the fourth grade, and has carried through to his senior year, when he was part of the All County Honor Band. While he is very musically talented, Cover also has achieved record-breaking athletic feats.
For Indoor Track and Field, Cover is the record-holder for the 1000-meter race, and his record has not been beaten since it was set in 2018. In addition to setting records for Indoor Track and Field, Cover is also the record holder for the 800-meter race.
Beyond setting individual records, playing jazz, and being a member of every possible honors society, Cover was the winner of the Doc Rasbek Award in 2018, given to the MVP of the Track and Field team. He also received an All League Award in Soccer, as well as in Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field.
Despite all Max’s individual accolades, his passion for being part of a team was evident when he was asked about his most significant accomplishment. “My greatest accomplishment is probably beating Greeley this year,” said Cover. “The reason I say that is because I can say our team played with 100% focus and heart every single second of that game and we never let our energy drop. We didn’t let our heads get big; we didn’t take winning for granted for an instant. Up until the last corner kick we had to clear from the box our minds mixed into one cohesive team. That unity was a once in a career experience.”
When discussing his community involvement, Cover stated: “I found that a lot of my commitments were manageable if I put myself into whatever I was doing at the moment entirely and focused on nothing else. This way I could fully dedicate myself to my work, or my practice, or my volunteering and organizing.” Dedicating himself to a Multi–Arts Summer Camp for a total of sixty hours, along with his 24 hours of hard work in volunteering at Relay for Life, Cover has tirelessly poured his time and energy into emitting positivity into each environment in which he finds himself.
To top off his athletic and academic feats, Cover also played key roles in Sleepy Hollow High School’s Theater Productions of Seussical, Pippen, Beauty and the Beast, and Hello Dolly. To say the least, Cover is Sleepy Hollow High School’s very own “Max of all trades.”
Max Cover will be transferring his talent, leadership qualities, and passion to Yale University in the fall, where he will pursue his political interests.
Below is a Q&A with Max.
Q: How do you balance community involvement, as well as academic achievement, with the commitment of athletics?
A: I found that a lot of my commitments were manageable if I put myself into whatever I was doing at the moment entirely and focused on nothing else. This way I could fully dedicate myself to my work, or my practice, or my volunteering and organizing.
Q: What motivates you most on the field, court, etc.?
A: I find very different motivation between soccer and track. Soccer is all about feeling the collective energy of the team and building on each other to become one force of will and desire. Games where everyone comes together in a cohesive net of motivation is when you feel like you’ve played well. Of course, a lot of that must come from within but the presence of teammates and having a coach creates a dynamic between everyone that fuels my desire to succeed. My mindset transforms after I finish the fall season and start track. There is no team in track, and as supportive as the track team is of each other there is no one to feed off of. Your performance is solely based upon yourself and therefore the motivation comes from yourself. In contrast to the team building of soccer, what motivates me to train hard and race hard is my competitive hunger to be the best. I want to break school records, I want to win my sectional meet, I want to make my mark in the track scene in our area. Motivation has to come from a selfish place to run, otherwise it is impossible to be successful. You can’t run to please anyone or to impress anyone. You must feel within yourself the need to be the best you can be, and that’s what I have learned to do in my four years of running track.
Q: What do you consider to be your best accomplishment (could be academic, athletic, community-related)?
A: My greatest accomplishment is probably beating Greeley this year. The reason I say that is because I can say our team played with 100% focus and heart every single second of that game and we never let our energy drop. We didn’t let our heads get big; we didn’t take winning for granted for an instant. Up until the last corner kick we had to clear from the box our minds mixed into one cohesive team. We couldn’t recreate that the next round of playoffs, so we lost, yet I think that it’s a testament to how special the Greeley game was. That unity was a once in a career experience.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of achieving feats for your team?
A: The everlasting bond that the memories of achievements that are forged. I still talk about the good old days with my teammates who graduated when I was a freshman and relive our glories, and our failures, in a fashion that is unique to sports. I’ll forever be connected to people I otherwise would never interact with and the lasting friendship I have with them speaks volumes about the strength of the bond that is created when you a common victory with someone. I’ll never stop talking about my pass to my teammates Carlos Suqui who then drove at the Horse Greeley defense and scored the game winning goal to lift us over the number 1 seeded team in sectional playoffs.
Q: Do you have any role models?
A: My role model was a junior in high school when I was a freshman, Diego Arias. In many ways he is no longer my role model as we are close friends now and we have become equals, but the image I had of him as I came into high school soccer is ingrained in my mind. I was so impressed by his raw talent and his desire to be better.
Q: How do you involve yourself in the community?
A: A way I’ve connected myself to my community is through children. Its rewarding and important to focus on the next generation of students and athletes to keep our programs strong. Two ways I’m proud to work with kids is through our school’s multi-arts summer camp and the soccer summer camp I helped start. The multi-arts camp is a very inexpensive camp that brings together our diverse community in a truly unifying manner that is surprisingly uncommon. The diversity in our towns is often praised yet this is one of the few places where people of all backgrounds actually come together as absolute equals. The soccer camp is another time I’ve seen this unity. In this camp, younger boy and girl soccer players are coached by the varsity athletes in a week-long camp. I pushed for this camp because the basketball team did a similar thing and I felt our soccer players deserved that opportunity. Each year everyone involved has an incredible experience and feels that the camp strengthens the connection between the varsity program and the rest of the soccer players in our district.
Q: If you could describe your experience as a student-athlete in three words, what would they be?
A: Character-Building, motivating, rewarding.