Are sports worth the time and stress to these Wakefield athletes?

Jordan McIntyre, Staff Writer

Most high school athletes face seven hours of school, two hours of practice, two hours of homework, and nine hours of sleep. With only 24 hours in a day, is it worth the lack of free time and social life for these teen athletes? Every teen thrives for their high school years to be filled with fun and experiences they will never forget, but handling work and procrastination can sting a bit in that perfect dream.

Brennan Davis,  Kennedy Nelson, and Jackson Froh are all members of the Wakefield High school football team. All three athletes are determined individuals with a strong mindset and have learned a lot throughout their high school years.

Brennan Davis, a junior cornerback, keeps up the hard work throughout the year with both football and school.

“Weekends are the time where I hang out with friends and catch up with schoolwork if I need to,” said Davis.

Social life is defined as the part of a person’s time spent doing enjoyable things with others.” Football is considered to be a part of this group and is an escape for a lot of kids and adults. It’s not only a great way to meet people but to stay healthy as well. However, the mental toughness and resilience it takes to perform multiple games in a season is difficult.

“I’ve never thought about quitting,” said Davis. “I love football too much to ever stop.”

Another student, Kennedy Nelson, is a senior linebacker for the Wakefield Wolverines football team. He has some advice for incoming high school athletes on how to not become overwhelmed.

“Make sure to do your work during class and don’t procrastinate,” said Nelson.

Procrastination can consume what someone has worked so hard for. How come procrastination happens for most overachievers? For some, it’s the fear of failing socially or academically. For others, it’s the drive for working well under pressure.

Nelson also mentions “self-control” and being able to manage your time wisely. Regulating school, practice, and free time can be a hard task, but it can end with reduced anxiety and higher academic performance.

It’s always hard to find that balance when trying to be the best at your sport

— Stanek

Jackson Froh has played football for over 12 years and is a receiver and linebacker for the Wakefield football team. 

“Some practices are longer than others,” said Froh. “It can make doing schoolwork hard.”

High school sport schedules can be unpredictable. Most days have about 2 hours of practice, but it all depends on what the athletes need to work on.

According to three of the football players attending Wakefield, the high-pressure lifestyle seems to be worth playing the sport they love. Not to mention it’s a good way to let go of your anger. 

This information not only relates to student-athletes, but the teachers and coaches who guide them.

Robyn Stanek, a science teacher at Wakefield High has played sports for most of her life and has a lot of experience with balancing life both outside and inside the school.

When I was a student, I had to come up with a timeline and prioritize the things that needed to get done, and the things that could be done later,” said Stanek. “Taking the time to put aside tasks on the ‘maybe’ list and focus on relationships instead of coaching and grading is important.” 

It’s rare to have a special connection to a sport and be able to dedicate yourself fully to something you love. However, this drive can push athletes away from schoolwork and hurt their potential future.

“It’s always hard to find that balance when trying to be the best at your sport,” said Stanek.