Athletes work in order to balance everything

Lucy Cook Sports Editor

Student-Athlete. Cross country is one of many sports that miss school for meets which causes athletes to miss school. Thomas Gleason, who is wearing a blue shirt, shorts, and black sunglasses, and Dom, who is wearing a black shirt on the far right, are both athletes who are who don’t struggle that much with keeping up their grades in their classes. “Most of the team’s grades are in good standing or if nothing else they’re at least passing. Some have had F’s before and it has impeded their season, but overall it has gone well,” Senior Thomas Gleason said. Photo by Emma O’Brien

Sports play an important role in many people’s lives; it acts as motivation for day to day life, and for some, it is what they live for.  However, for student-athletes, they have to balance schoolwork, and sports, which can sometimes be a struggle.

“I have had Fs, but I have still worked it back to at least a C or something,” senior and cross country runner Thomas Gleason said. “I would have to get that up; I would work after school. If I had to miss practice for the sake of getting my grade up, that’s worth it.”

Failing a class can feel like the end of the world for some people. Especially for athletes when it means they can’t participate in games or meets or even practices if they are failing too many classes, but there are ways to get out of the struggle and work.

“When it comes to an academic/athletic balance of course you’re a student-athlete we’ve all heard that before – you’re a student before you’re an athlete. The biggest thing is trying to figure out what we need to prioritize, sometimes that means that personal entertainment may need to go by the wayside, maybe doing assignments or other corrective things,” cross country coach Conner Mazzei said, “in terms of studying on the weekends or something along those lines. So just trying to reach a good balance and everyone’s different and knowing what works best for the individual student is essential.”

Even if a student has an F, that doesn’t exactly mean that the student will be kicked off the team entirely. Coaches cannot let failing students participate in meets or games so they don’t get more behind from missing more school.

“If you are failing a class for cross country you are not allowed to participate in the next meet, so it’s really imperative if you have an F that you need to make a plan, communicate with the teacher, communicate with me, get the grade up. Otherwise, you will not be running in the next meet,” Mazzei said.

But sometimes if an athlete has too many Fs they may have to stay after school to do work instead of going to practice. But this doesn’t happen that often.

“There are exceptions where if you are failing multiple classes I will instead of sending you to practice, you will go up to the library for P.M. Guided Study, but that is a rare occurrence,” Mazzei said. “Usually our athletes know my expectations and are in good academic standing.”

Not all athletes struggle with getting their work done. Some can still manage to stay afloat.

“When I joined sports, no, because for cross country and track I strived to be there for every race,” junior, track and field athlete, and cross country runner Dom Curry said. “I have missed work. However, I talked to my teachers about what we were going to do while I was gone at my meet which allowed me to catch up.”

Coaches and teachers are here to help students thrive in class and out on the field or in the gym. It is always good to communicate with coaches and teachers to get work done, especially if students are struggling in school.

“Work with your coach, and definitely let them know because I am sure that they are pretty concerned about it as well and they want you to do well in your coursework first because after all, you are a student before you are an athlete,” Gleason said. “So work with your coaches and they will more than likely allow you to get in after or before school, and get help with whatever subject you are failing in.”