By Eden Goldstein
Students have been balancing their sports with schoolwork for years at Garnet Valley High School.
Many fall sports teams at Garnet Valley started practicing in August. This summer practice prepared them for the many sports games they have been competing in since school started. But balancing school and sports became more difficult once classes began.
“Games are super fun, but sometimes they are annoying because there are times we miss classes to go to them. Whenever I miss a class, I always have to make up assignments which can be hard if I don’t understand the material completely,” Brianna Acker, co-captain of the freshman volleyball team said.
Free time is something many athletes struggle to find. Sports players only get a little time between their practices and school to complete homework and relax.
“After school, I usually have practice at either 4:00 or 5:30, depending on the day; practice goes for three and a half hours, so I get home around 8:00 or 9:30 at night. I usually don’t have much time to do assignments before practice, so I wait until after to do them, so on nights when I have practice, I usually don’t go to bed until midnight,” Alexandra Scamuffa, a gymnast at Cross Point Gym, stated.
Towards the end of the school year, some athletes miss entire school days for competitions out of state. Last year cheerleaders at Encore Elite missed a week of school for a meet that was being held in Florida.
“I had several assignments to make up that week, I tried to do them at the competition, but it was hard to find time because I was always out with my teammates. When I got back, I only had about two days to complete everything I missed, which was hard because I missed some of the lessons that went along with the assignments I had to complete,” Payton Craig, a cheerleader present at the Florida competition, revealed.
To help better understand material, many athletes have created strategies or a support system that allows them complete and understand the material.
“I have a math tutor I meet with every Thursday that works with me on math assignments I have missed, and she also works with me so I can better understand what we are learning in class. Another critical resource I use is learn; learn is a great time to finish up assignments and meet with your teachers if you need help on something,” Scamuffa said.
Although it is difficult for students to complete homework because of sports, competing can benefit students academically. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention revealed that exercising improves a person’s ability to focus and concentrate and gives them better memory.
“Since starting gymnastics, sitting through classes and understanding what we are learning has actually become a lot easier. Because of this, my grades on tests and quizzes have gotten a lot better,” Scamuffa stated.
Playing sports has been a way for many students to connect as it allows them to talk to other people with who they usually wouldn’t speak to.
“Playing volleyball has given me the chance to become close with many people who I never thought I would even talk to in the first place. I got especially close with the other two team captains, Ellie and Maddy,” Acker disclosed.
Garnet Valley freshman volleyball team posing for a picture in front of the dig for a cure volleyball sign after practice
Many students agreed that everyone at Garnet Valley High School should have to play a sport because of its many benefits.
“Playing a sport was the best decision I have ever made,” Payton Craig even said. Even though playing a sport is a big time commitment, I would say that all the benefits of playing one are worth it.”