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Student Athletes Try to Manage High School Life

Emma L., Reporter

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High school is a very important time in a person’s life. These four years are the time for students to determine what college to attend, what major to pick, and what career might interest them. The classes they take and the activities they choose shape their college applications, and sometimes these selections begin in freshman year. It’s also the time when many students decide whether or not to include a sport in their already busy schedule. Adding sports to the equation sometimes doubles the responsibility, and many would be surprised at the amount of late nights and hard work that student athletes undertake just to say they are a part of the team.

Padua Academy offers every level of academics to make sure students are being challenged. According to senior Saceyana Powell, “people can tell a Panda by the amount of books she takes home.”  Most freshmen are overwhelmed by this new workload, but they know it will pay off and make them better students. Freshman cheerleader Anna Przywara feels that “even though I am working harder than I have ever worked to get everything done, it’s worth it just to be part of the team and it will help me in my future.”  And for most athletes, the schedule is full. Students are learning to juggle work, athletics, and other activities, which is a worthwhile life skill. The fall sports season started in August for most teams, which are cross country, field hockey, volleyball, dance, and new this year, competitive cheerleading. Each sport practices two to six times a week for about two hours at a time. Most practices take place right after school, so the girls end the school day and go right into their sport. This is nice, especially for the sports that practice right at Padua, but it can make for a very long day.

Sports at Padua have a considerable positive impact on students. Not only do athletics keep girls in shape, but a preseason in August allows the freshman team members to make friends before the start of the school year. Freshman volleyball player Emily Thiemann said, “It helped a lot to have the tryouts before school started. I had the opportunity to meet many girls, even those who did not end up playing on the team.”  The competitive cheerleading squad practiced regularly during the summer, and even attended a week-long overnight camp. This helped them to form bonds and friendships that will last throughout the year. Many girls felt comforted to meet upperclass students through their sport as well. Seeing the familiar faces of teammates in the halls helped to lessen the stress of entering a new school. Padua athletics help girls, especially freshmen, feel more comfortable at Padua and adjust to their new home.

Being a high school athlete is not all fun and games, though. Freshmen are adjusting to being in high school as it is. So, the addition of a sport can put a significantly more pressure on students. Many athletes, such as freshman cross country runner, Nicole Cochran, and freshman field hockey player, Hayley Wilson, say they don’t get to bed until eleven at the earliest. By the time they finish practice, get home, eat dinner, and complete their homework, it is already late at night. Since sports tend to take place right after school, many don’t start homework until after practice. However, this year Padua has taken measures to alleviate this issue. Athletes like freshman field hockey goalie Pearce Quesenberry, “Flex time is a big help because it allows me to get a head start on that night’s homework!” So all future freshman athletes take heed! Adjusting to school with athletic pressures takes some time getting used to, but it is worth it!

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About the Writer
Emma L., Reporter
Emma L. is a freshman at Padua Academy. She went to P.S. DuPont Middle School. Emma enjoys playing volleyball and looks forward to writing about sports.
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