Student first, athlete second


Diana Garcia

Good grades were required to play in the West versus Pleasant Valley boy basketball game on Feb 4. In fact, good grades are required to get play time. A student athlete’s favorite part of the game is the opportunity to play. “Don’t focus on things that you can’t control and always do your homework before you do anything else to be able to play,” senior and student athlete Kyle Burton said.

Diana Garcia, Reporter

Throughout the years West High School has been a competitive school with sports. In every sport, all  teammates and their coaches support one another, become close, and encourage academic success. 

As an athlete, it is important to keep up with grades in order to be able to play and compete for West. Not all students get homework done on time, but many put forth the effort knowing that they have a coach and team relying on them. Balancing school and athletics can be challenging, and the only thing needed for an athlete to get work done is– time. 

“It all pays off at the end. It makes you happy to know that you put in all the work and time to get good grades,” senior Jessica Chalupa said.

Chalupa is a student athlete in cross country, track, and basketball.

Athletic Director Al Blocker and athletic secretary Nicky Haas will be tracking data on whether or not students’ GPAs tend to go up with involvement in extracurriculars to prove that sports can encourage students with grades. Depending on the results, extracurricular activities could be used to motivate students to better  grades and to help students stay driven. 

“Kids that are involved in activities in high school have a tendency to have better grades. In fact, the more things they are involved in, their GPA goes up because they are expected to get good grades according to a Scott Kibby article I once read,” Blocker said. 

In fact, being a multi-sport athlete is recommended by many athletes at West .

“I do recommend a student to take multiple sports because you just get a better experience of high school and you meet more people,” senior Kyle Burton said. 

Burton is a student athlete that plays football and baseball. 

Being an athlete does not just mean a student is required to be able to play well,  it also consists of getting good grades.

 “You don’t have a lot of time to focus on school, and when practice gets done late and you’re tired, you still have to get home, get cleaned up, eat dinner, and then you still want to go to bed early because you have to do the exact same thing the next day. You just have to push through your all like your tiredness and find free time to do homework,”  Burton said.

Grades help inspire because coaches are also there to help their players through the addition of study tables during practices. 

“Most of the time almost all sports do study tables if you’re in school,” Burton said. “The coaches can even help you with your homework if it’s something that they teach or are good at, or can help you find new opportunities like they can help with job opportunities and help you later in life.”

For a coach, it is very important for a student to get good grades. 

“Sports are only going to last so long, but your education is going to last your whole life,” varsity football coach Justin Peters said. 

The students involved in different sports tend to become intellectual as long as they are also interested in their education. Students cannot just rely on sports, they must also manage their time to keep up with their education. 

“You’re motivated by sports to do good in class because your main focus is to be a student because you’re a student athlete,” Burton said.