By Dylan Lee and Sebastian Gonzales,
Making the transition from a junior high to Davis High can be difficult for incoming sophomore athletes due to the struggles they face when trying to balance their athletics with their academics.
There are a variety of different ways that incoming sophomores learn to deal with their increased high school-level workloads, one being to simply cut down on the time they spend on leisure activities. On the other hand, some athletes find having less time makes them better at managing what little time they have.
James Richardson, an incoming junior and Davis High baseball player, does not think that his grades are negatively affected due to his sport.
“I would say that my grades stay the same during spring season, because I like to have one routine and stick with it even if there is another element to my day,” Richardson said.
While some sophomores excel with the added focus that a sport provides in their lives, some struggle to get their assignments finished on time with the added difficulty of a sport.
DHS World Civilizations and Psychology teacher Kelly Christiansen has some words of advice for newcomers to the school.
“I would recommend really using your planners,” Christiansen said. “Even if you don’t have an assignment in a class you should fill in ‘none’ so there’s no wondering whether or not you have work.”
Like Christiansen, all DHS teachers are available to incoming sophomores not only as instructors, but as a support system as well. Falling behind with schoolwork during sports season can be dangerous, as many good students also fall into this bad habit.
Junior Maddy Stoltz usually considers herself to be a studious individual, but during swimming season her grades tend to drop.
“I don’t have as much time to do homework and study because of all the time that I dedicate to my sport,” Stoltz said.
DHS JV men’s soccer coach Jesus Mata took over coaching duties for the school just before the 2013 season, but had been head varsity coach at Dixon High School for many years previously. Mata says he takes an understanding approach to his athletes’ academics and tries not to be unreasonable when dealing with conflicts.
“I know certain people have different priorities. If some of my players can’t play or practice due to school responsibilities, I understand that many of them are students first and foremost,” Mata said.
It is always good for students to know their limits and operate within them. Taking on a workload with responsibilities that are possible for students is one of the most important keys to success for incoming sophomores.
Mata recommends that incoming sophomores “take classes that are well-suited for them” and “learn to manage their time very well” so as not to create conflicts between school and sports.
Christiansen also added a suggestion, recommending that students not join too many extracurricular activities so that they are able to excel in their chosen activities rather than being spread too thin.