Balancing school and sports

Sagen Sarchett, Co-Sports Editor

27th October, 2022

Student athletes studying in the library between school and practice.
(Photo Credit: Sagen Sarchett)

The student athlete experience is something that not a lot of people talk about or really even hear about. Here’s some insight to bring it to light because it is actually a lot harder than most think.

As a student, there is already so much on your plate but just imagine doubling the load by adding a sport onto that. It is definitely not easy. I’ve decided to talk to a few student athletes to discuss how doing a sport and going to school at the time takes a toll on a person.

Senior Chase Coleman and football player at Arcata High has a lot to say on the topic of how student athletes balance their school life with their sports. “You just have to have the mindset of this is what I have to get done and don’t make any excuses” he said.

Football also has study hall on Mondays after school as a team in effort to get everybody caught up to date with work and grades. “It definitely isn’t easy at all because it feels like there almost isn’t enough time in a day to get all of my homework done and pursue football at the same time,” Coleman said.

Balancing school and sports is almost a full-time job and some athletes really struggle with keeping up in class when they miss school for a game. He also said that most teachers are really helpful for student athletes to catch up with their missing work. “You just can’t let it be an excuse every time” Coleman said,

“The only class that’s particularly hard to keep up in is government with Mielke just because there always seems to be a lot of work in there.” On the topic of maintaining a social life Coleman said, “My social life is sports, I’ve done it all my life and built lasting friendships and learned so many valuable lessons,” Coleman said.

Two other football players at Arcata, sophomores Wilson Medina and Lennon Gieder had a few words of wisdom to share about keeping up with your school work and not procrastinating. “Although it is really hard to make up work when missing school, you just really need to push yourself in class and really apply yourself,” Medina said.

“Not that I take hard classes or anything, I still just have to make myself focus in class and then it really isn’t that difficult. When you push things off to the last minute is when it starts getting tough to come back,” Gieder said. Spanish teacher Kelly Fernandes and History teacher Owen Moore’s classes are more difficult.
“It is hard to catch up in their classes because of all of the work,” Medina said.

Junior volleyball player Maria Williamson says that this year she has had a few problems with missing school for a volleyball game. “It seems as if everybody in class is so ahead of me when I come back the day after a game. I miss lectures and notes and oftentimes have to teach myself the material,” she said.

“Mrs. Miller makes it super easy and Fernandes on the other hand can be really difficult because she doesn’t let us catch up during class time, but makes us come in at flex or other time,” Williamson said. In the winter season is when Williamson thrives in school because in the fall she has volleyball and in the spring it’s softball season.

She said that her best grades were during the off season because doing a sport affects her grades in a negative way. “I have no time for social life because school and sports come first, but I would definitely say it’s worth it because athletics is what keeps me happy and makes me a better person. It can be really rewarding,” Williamson said.

Being part of a team sport at some time in your life is really something that I think all people should experience at some point because all of the lessons and relationships grown throughout. Speaking from personal experience, some of the things that I’ve learned is how to be able to work in a team environment with other people and create something in the end to be proud of.