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Student athletes call for after-school games to balance sports and academics

Student athletes share their jam-packed schedule of school and sports and how this effects different aspects of their lives
Sabi Yoon

With fall sports in full gear – including girls’ swim, soccer, volleyball, boys’ golf, cross country and football – students are scrambling to manage their extremely busy schedules.

Although all these sports are different in many ways, there is one commonality for all student athletes: having to leave school early for competition and games and dealing with the burden of missing class.

Many of these student athletes are calling for a change in the scheduling of games to be after school so that it doesn’t overlap with their school hours.

Senior Addy Wynkoop, a double varsity athlete in both soccer and softball, has had to manage an intense schedule for over three years, missing two to three periods at least twice a week on a daily basis.

“It’s definitely a big stressor, especially during spring season with softball because games are always at four o’clock and we have three games a week,” Wynkoop said. “There’s also AP testing in the spring and metros and districts are around the same time so just having to make the choice to be less committed to one thing is hard.”

Sophomore Cassidy Armstrong, a triple varsity student-athlete in cross country, gymnastics and track, shares that although her schedule is manageable, regularly skipping her last two periods twice a week can be challenging as she needs to sacrifice her lunch period to make up for the work she will miss.

“For track, because it’s far away, we need to leave extra early to get there early and meets are long,” Armstrong said. “During the metros and districts season for cross country, we have to go out of town and sleep at a hotel.”

“I go in during lunch to do work or I try to do all of the homework the day before it is assigned,” Armstrong said. ‘So, if I have a meet on Wednesday, I’ll do the work for Wednesday on Tuesday. For now it’s manageable but it can be challenging sometimes especially when I need to skip a test or something.”

Moreover, student athletes have observed not only themselves experience stress to balance school and sports but also their teammates who are stressed about missing classes. This not only impacts their academic performance but also sleep schedules.

“I have certainly noticed other teammates losing multiple hours of sleep trying to make up class work and sometimes having to be late to a game because they desperately need to be in class,” Wynkoop said. “For the most part, I feel like everyone missing class regularly is going to feel overwhelmed by the looming increase of their workload and for athletes these absences are far from rare.”

As a result, student athletes prefer having games scheduled after school so that they don’t need to make sacrifices of using their lunch period to make up class work or use their sleep schedule to do so.

“I feel like just working with Metro League and working with the schedulers to try and make games for student athletes later in the day so that they don’t have to be coming out of class for that purpose.” Wynkoop said. “Since there are a lot of times we have had 3:15 p.m. games that causes us to miss half of the day of school to get there early for warm-up and transportation time.”

Wykoop added that a scheduling change can alleviate pressures like these from student athletes.

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