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 Student athletes

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 Student athletes

Peyton Terry

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Student athletes have to hustle to keep up with grades and athletics.

Over the years, the number of student athletes in our country continues to increase. With many students participating in school sports, there is a need for students to have methods to keep up with their academics. Students must learn to balance both by using things like time management skills and planning. Sports have always been a big part of American society, so it’s no wonder so many students are participating in them. Not only do student athletes face pressure on the playing field, but they must keep their grades up to be able to participate in their school’s academic programs. There are many methods students are starting to share to guarantee success with both.


In the United States, almost 8 million students are involved in sports. There are 4.5 million boys and 3.5 million girls in these programs. The number continues to grow just like it has for the past  29 years. Study shows that high school athletes perform better in school and persist to graduation even if they do not plan to play at a higher level. It is said that being a part of a team is teaching students discipline which is being carried over into their schooling. Studies have shown consistently that when compared with students who do not play varsity sports, high school athletes as a group generally have better grade point averages, more positive attitudes toward school, more interest in continuing their education, and a slightly better educational achievement rate.


Finding time to balance both sports and academics can be tough for many students. Students must find time for studying in between games and practices. “Instead of goofing off in my free time, I typically study to keep my grades up,” said freshman Elle Gunter. She believes that planning time to study will really push you to actually do it. “School comes first for me, so I always make sure to find the time to do my work between my practices,” said Gunter. “Being involved in multiple sports really pushes me to keep my grades up,” said sophomore Rebecca Smith. She says that studying with friends is how she is able to manage both; that way she is able to spend time with them during her free time. “I’m really grateful a lot of friends are involved in sports and don’t mind studying during our free time,” said Smith. “For me keeping my academics up is harder than sports. Therefore, I must make sure I’m always putting in time for both,” said freshman Brody Meadows. He says school also comes first for him, so he typically doesn’t mind it.


Many schools across the country are now providing programs specially for student athletes. Graham High School is one of those schools trying to create programs for its athletes. Graham has recently been involved with the Chick-fil-a leadership program, a program that is only open to student athletes, most of which are upperclassmen. The program involves students working on leadership skills and putting them into action. The school has decided to take a different approach than what Chick-fil-a has scripted for them by adding in more small service projects. “Our school already has a lot of leadership organizations, but not all athletes have the opportunity to be a part of them,” said Principal Brad Carr. He believes that since athletes are public representatives of schools, they should have some sort of leadership foundation to guide them. With choosing athletes you can really get a diverse group of people together to do good things for the community. He says that it is still a work in progress and that he hopes it will continue to grow overtime. “So far I have really enjoyed taking part in this program. I really think it can be something great if  the students and I continue to work on it,” said Carr.


Many coaches at Graham work hard to monitor their athletes academics. “Being a coach and a teacher, I always keep up with my student athletes academics,” said volleyball coach Coach Cantrell. She makes sure her student’s grades stay up in order for them to keep participating on their teams. “Being a student athlete can put a lot of pressure on students,” said  boys basketball Coach Todd Baker. He added that he believes many students at Graham do a good job at placing high standards athletically and academically.


With more students being involved in school, sports requires more methods on keeping up with both. Student athletes at Graham High do a good job overall at keeping up with both. The school is providing opportunities for athletes as well which is a big contributor in their personal success as well.



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 Student athletes