Athletic adversary

students tackle the stress of juggling more than one sport

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As a typical high school student, the load of homework, projects, and studying for tests can be hard enough. But when the added pressure of sports factors in, that load intensifies.

Freshman Jolee Sepulvado starts the year with three sports: tennis, soccer, and basketball. As she walks the halls with her racket and cleats in hand, Sepulvado’s schedule is jam-packed with practices and games in addition to her classwork and the added pressures it brings.

“It was difficult starting off the school year with all of these activities,” said Sepulvado. “The freshman tennis team practices Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 until 4 or 4:30. It was hard the first couple of weeks of school because I am in other clubs and organizations, but I am adjusting.”

Even upperclassmen found the balancing act of playing multiple sports to be difficult.

“I play golf and football,” said senior Hunter Harris. “I’ve managed to keep everything balanced. I think the best thing to do is just stay focused.”

But staying focused for some can be challenging, especially for seniors. Even with the added stresses of looking for colleges, studying for the SAT or ACT, and playing two sports during the year, some athletes have found how to make the most of their time off.

“I have to manage my time,” said senior Dakota Aplanalp. “We work until six; then I go home and get right to work on homework and everything I need to get done for school. I go to tutoring in the mornings when I need it. I try to be a pretty studious student.”

However, Harris and Aplanalp aren’t the only students on the football field juggling sports and school.

“I’m a Bearkadette and I play lacrosse,” said sophomore Rebecca Rice. “Lacrosse is a club sport that includes students from all the schools in the Houston area. Because lacrosse and Bearkadette practices are at the same time, I have to decide which practice to go to, and it can be stressful sometimes especially with homework.”

Yet student athletes agree that the stress of school is nothing like the stress of an injury.

“I messed up my back during a game once,” said senior Kyle Pfau. “I just kept kicking for the rest of the game. I was fine; it was the only injury that I’ve had on the field.”

While Pfau’s back might not have bothered him, senior Eric Hoefler had a different kind of injury.

“Junior year I hurt my ACL and was out for 6 weeks,” said Hoefler. “It affected my game last year because I was out for so long, but this year it’s fine. This year I am going to try out for baseball. I played it freshman and sophomore year, so this year I will be playing football, basketball, and baseball.”

Coming back from an injury can be difficult, but students have their coaches to help them stay on track.

“We try not to push our players too far, but far enough to get the play in their heads and get them ready for the game,” said head football coach Shane Hallmark. “We try and work with the players and make sure that they’re working hard on and off the field.”

Yet, students feel that lessening the load is the better option.

“I am not playing any sports in college,” said Aplanalp. “I am lightening the load next year for college. I’ve been playing football since fourth grade, so this time school is going to come first.”