School+Sports=Struggle: Freshmen Perspectives


Freshman Lauren Koelsh doing homework before her JV basketball game.

Every freshman is full of nerves when they first enter high school: will it be hard? Am I going to get lost? But this stress is magnified when sports enter the picture. Practice every day after school plus homework and tests can really make freshman year rough for some students. With this in mind, prepared freshmen found ways to balance schoolwork and sports.   

Liam Malloy, center for the freshman football team, was able to juggle school and football, maintaining good grades.

“I was expecting [school] to be really easy because it was really easy at Sandburg.”

Malloy found that high school was harder than middle school, but still managed to pull through and make all-A Honor Roll for the first quarter.

“I got a lot more work and the practices didn’t end until 7 o’clock so I stayed up late doing homework everyday,” Malloy said. “That was pretty challenging.”

Football kicker Jake Cooper’s expectations were to stay up late after practices to complete everything, and reality came pretty close.

“I spent a lot of time during the weekends catching up on work to get it all done, so I gave up time spent with friends for my grades,” Cooper said.

His sacrifices paid off, succeeding in earning him great first-quarter grades.

Other students had a tougher time.

Freshman basketball player and cross country teammate Harper Casey barely had a break between his two sports seasons. He wanted to get all A’s and have playing time, but the all-A part has been difficult.

“I struggle because of a lack of free time and sleep because of schoolwork and practice,” Casey said. “I really need to stay on task when I have the time to do my work so I can get it all done.”

Another cross country runner Zachary Lydon thought high school and sports would be more manageable and had some trouble.

“My grades weren’t as good as I expected, but they weren’t bad,” Lydon said. “I think a sport really limits your time and makes you be more focused on school. I just need to do my homework right when I get home and use my time constructively and not just go on my phone until the very last minute.”

The freshman that were able to balance their sport and school all had similar advice to give the students that were having trouble.

Field hockey and basketball player Katie Moery said, “When you have free time you should do your work so it’s not on your mind during a late practice or anything.”

Field hockey player and diver Winnie Mikulski advised, “Try to do your homework the day it is assigned instead of the day before it is due.”

“Do more work in class so you don’t have to worry about it as much when you get home,” Malloy said.

Balancing sports and school is a test, but these freshmen have figured it out and are now excelling in two areas of life.