The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Buttered up: Butter your bae for V-day
Owen Peterson, A&E Editor • February 5, 2024
Baking and creating something with the person you love can be one of the most magical things out there. Keep in mind though, even if you’re single and feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, it’s also a great time to show yourself some love.
March 5th election coming soon!
Sasha Love, Feature Editor • February 26, 2024

An election is coming up fast! On March 5th, propositions and measures for healthcare, cannabis farming, and more will be decided, and several...

February district board meeting:
Sasha Love, Feature Editor • February 26, 2024

The Northern Humboldt Union High School District school board meeting this Thursday addressed the locking of gender neutral bathrooms, tardy...

O’Brien posing with flowers.
Boys Want Flowers Too
Oscar Carlson, Reporter • February 13, 2024

In a universe adorned with red roses, teddy bears, and heart-shaped chocolates, there's an age-old tradition that often leaves one gender...

Building love, brick by brick
Jordan Gaskell, Business Manager • February 13, 2024

Legos have been a predominantly kids’ toy ever since the early ‘70s. Since then, they have evolved and been adopted by a large young-adult...

College sports: A student-athletes guide

“You’re a student-athlete, so that is what comes first, and that’s what’s important.”
Kloe Bryant

When high school students start thinking about colleges, they also start thinking about if they can play sports at the next level. But what is it really like to play sports in college? Cal Poly Humboldt Athletes, Lindsey McLaughlin and Kyra Slavik, Arcata High alumni, and College of the Redwoods Athlete Mason Railsback gives us some insight into what it’s like. 

Senior Lindsey Mclaughlin is an outside hitter for the Cal Poly Humboldt Volleyball team. She originally played at Solano Community College before transferring in 2021.  

Sophomore Mason Railsback is a forward for the CR basketball team. Railsback graduated from Arcata High in 2021 and is playing his first season with Redwoods. 

Junior Kyra Slavik is a setter for the Cal Poly Humboldt volleyball team. Slavik originally played D1 at Ohio University and the University of Wyoming. She graduated from Wyoming and committed to play at Humboldt for two more years. 

No game-days 

Most mornings usually consist of going to the gym and then classes. 

“Typically I would wake up at 6:45, and then head to weights at 7:30, start weights at 7:50, and then that lasted about 45 minutes,” McLaughlin said. 

For most CR athletes, they don’t take too many in-person classes, according to Railsback.

 “For me it’s all online, so my days are pretty chill,” Railsback said. 

Game days

[My day] doesn’t look that much different,” Railsback said. He said the only difference is to prepare mentally for the game. For Mclaughlin and Slavik, their game days are a bit different. 

“We have serve and pass,” Slavik said. 

“To get reps in before the game.”

 “Then we would go into our team meal,” Mclaughlin said. Then it’s game time for these athletes!


The recruitment process will look different for everyone. Both Railsback and Mclaughlin were recruited to a Junior College, while Slavik was recruited to a Division 1 college. 

“It’s not a special story,” Railsback said. 

“I was just asked if I wanted to come play at CR.” He was familiar with both coaches, since one was an old high school coach and the other he did skill work with. 

“At the end of my first year [at Solano Community College], I started emailing coaches,” Mclaughlin said.

 “I sent them an old game film that I had and a nice long email about who I was as a person.” 

For Slavik, her recruitment process started at the young age of 14. 

For setters, they usually get recruited earlier because they are needed most on the team,” Slavik said. 

Student life

Student-athletes have a large commitment of having to keep good grades while playing a sport. So how do you balance school and sports in College?

For some athletes, like Slavik, it’s fairly easy.

 “I do not procrastinate & always do my assignments ahead of the due date,” Slavik said. 

With jam-packed days with either practice or games, you have to be able to use your time wisely.

 “You really have to prioritize the time that you have off from practice,” Mclaughlin said


A huge question arises when thinking about playing sports in college sports; What should you be doing to take it to the next level? While the three athletes gave their tips, so did the athletic directors of Cal Poly and Redwoods. 

The first tip that the CR athletic director, Bob Brown, gave was to make a video. As Mclaughlin said to email coaches, also include a video.

 “if possible, any highlights from high school, AAU, or even practice of playing the sport they are interested in being recruited for to share with college coaches,” Brown said

Another tip that Cal Poly athletic director, Nick Petit, gave was to attend camps and clinics. When attending a camp or clinic of a college you’re interested in, you get experience with the program but also with coaches. 

The final tip given was from Railsback. 

“You’re a student-athlete, so that is what comes first, and that’s what’s important.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Pepperbox

Your donation will support the student journalists of Arcata High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kloe Bryant, Reporter
Kloe Bryant is a freshman who is a driven and passionate writer. Kloe is ready to expand her writing from just writing essays and personal pieces to reporting and writing for the Pepperbox. She finds excitement and enjoyment in sport articles, especially pieces that go into the mind of an athlete. She loves books, specifically the ones that make you forget about reality, but not fantasies. Kloe wants to be a writer who can write about anything, the one who can take a boring topic and make it a phenomenal and engaging piece. You can find her on instagram @kloebryant.
Donate to The Pepperbox

Comments (0)

All The Pepperbox Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *