Wildecat Athletes Return to the Field with Full Course Load

Sophomore Cross Country runner, Myles Brown (front), running a course. (Photo by Pamela Cheung).

Sophomore Cross Country runner, Myles Brown (front), running a course. (Photo by Pamela Cheung).

Every day, after school, freshman Ethan James sneaks off to the media center for forty-five minutes of studying before his soccer practice. At 2:45, Ethan rushes down to the locker room to change before practice starts at 3:00. Right after practice when Ethan arrives home, he starts his homework again, slowly chipping away at the pile until it’s gone. Ethan says he prioritizes work, but that it’s “a lot.”

With seven classes to manage, full-time, in-person school, after school clubs, and social activities, this year’s athletes are struggling to rise above the daily hurdles of school and sports.

Last school year, because of the 4×4 schedule, students had less work. Now, everything students knew before Covid-19 is back. Students now have to manage seven classes and a more “normal” workload from teachers. Almost everything athletes knew is back too, they are now back to managing a full sports schedule. 

“That jump from four to seven [classes] was pretty noticeable,” said Ethan.

Senior and varsity football player Enosh Minney says that he balanced a normal season with seven classes at one point. But now, he says readjusting to the workload has proven challenging. 

Participating in sports comes with expectations for athletes. They must maintain a 2.0 GPA and only have one E in the previous quarter of the sport season to play. For some student-athletes, prioritizing school is essential. “We take ourselves as student-athletes, not athlete-students. That student part always comes first,” says Enosh. 

Head football coach Mr. Bryan Henderson believes that learning to manage both school and sports is part of being a student athlete. “Student athletes have qualities of resilience, are hardworking, have great time management skills, and most importantly a selfless attitude toward a team goal and objective,” says Coach Henderson.  

Coach Henderson says he always encourages his players to manage their time well so that they can find time for themselves. “With all that is going on students need the opportunity to take their mental health above everything,” he says. 

But finding and maintaining that school-to-sport balance has been difficult for some.

For Cross Country runner Myles Brown, it’s all about time management.“I have to spread out my time evenly so that I can get what I need to get done,” he says. “I feel like I am doing the bare minimum in everything. It’s really a lot of weight.”

Senior and varsity Field Hockey player Brynn Ordovensky is trying her best. “Sometimes when I get home from school, I think about if I should start some homework before field hockey or if I should push it back. I have to pick which outweighs the other one. It feels like you’re in a constant state of motion,” she says.

For Coach Henderson, it’s all about character, “Being a student athlete today is the ultimate reflection of discipline, commitment, and dedication.”