For most athletes at South, glory is earned on a district field, with classmates looking on from the bleachers. For many South sports players, however, additional victories are won on far away lacrosse fields or in cramped ice rinks with only parents in attendance.
These students balance their schoolwork and school sports with club sports that don’t have flexible schedules.
“There are always conflicts between cross country and lacrosse; it’s hard to make it to both practices on time,” said Freshman Charlie McFarlane.“It’s hard to keep up with homework and my friends, too, with all my sports commitments.”
Some of these athletes participate in club sports as a way to stay in shape for school sports. Several South volleyball players, for example, play on club teams in the offseason to keep their game at its highest level.
“A lot of us have been on the same club teams for a while,” said Senior Lindsey Yeager. “It really helps our game because we get used to playing with each other.”
Other multisport athletes simply like the variety of playing several sports. Freshman Evan Morrow, who plays goalie for the Kansas City Fighting Saints hockey team as well as goalie for South soccer ,loves both sports and plans to play both in college.
“I love being a goalie for both sports, but I’m better at soccer, I think,” Morrow said, “I want to continue to do both, but if there starts to be a big conflict I’ll probably stick with soccer.”
An expected consequence of having so much time committed to sports is a drop in school performance. Athletes at South have to maintain at least a C in every class to continue to participate, and it can sometimes be a struggle for multi-sport athletes to maintain good grades. They are able to keep up, however, because working hard comes naturally to those who play sports and academics never takes a backseat to athletics.
“It’s hard to keep up sometimes because I have to stay up late after practices to do homework,” said McFarlane. “I’m usually really tired during school.”
Though it may sometimes be a hassle to juggle so many commitments, these sports players are happy to do so. For some, sports are an activity. For them, sports are their life and what they love the most. McFarlane summed up best the sentiment of the multi-sport athlete.
“It’s worth being tired all the time to be able to enjoy the sports I love,” she said, “it’s just the price you have to pay.”