img_1188Story by Destiny White, photo by Trey Martin

Before students can participate in any games or practices, they are required to keep their grades up. Different athletes see different results in their grades during the sports season.

“If anything, my grades have risen. Being in a sport as well as school makes my time limited, so any time I have to work on schoolwork, I take advantage of it,”senior track runner Ashlyn Donelson said. “My dedication increases significantly when I’m playing a sport and it transfers over into my schoolwork.”

Though juggling two responsibilities at the same time may be challenging for students, staying on a steady route can help build themselves back up.

“My grades have dropped a little bit, but I try to keep them up,” junior baseball player Jack Samosky said.

According junior track thrower Denona Elmore, it’s difficult trying to hold off on homework due to runners having practices throughout the week and having games through the week and weekends.

“For me it’s hard on track meet days which are on Wednesday because you have to make sure your homework is finished or else after coming home from a late track meet you are going to be up all night doing homework and on Saturdays you don’t have time to do homework because you have Saturday track meets that last all day,” Denona said. “During the weekend you just have to make sure after practice you get your school work done even though I’m very tired after practice.”

However, staying on top of things may be hard for students. Learning how to stay focused can help the athletes throughout the rest of their season.

“The hardest thing about balancing school work and sports is being able to actually complete all your assignments. As a student athlete you have to learn how to work smart, fast, and being able to turn all assignments on time,” junior football player Charles Hoover said.

Coaches are not only responsible for improving play on the field. The coaches continuously make sure that their players are staying focused.

“They constantly remind me to stay on top of my school work and not to let my athletics come before school,” senior wrestler Jaxon Jones said.

Academics are an important part to students who plan to go further in the sport.

“If you don’t make time for it, your grade will reflect on it,” Denona said.

According to Ashlyn, sports help her grades improve.

“I’ve played sports in the fall season and the spring season and I see myself doing better when I play a sport. My parents have always told my siblings and I not to rely on sports because anything can happen, and you have nothing to lean on,”Ashlyn said. “So I always keep academics as a priority, but there’s many benefits to sports as well. If one of my teammates is in the same class as me, we can help each other with homework or study together. Academics are always important–especially for student athletes.”