A+ in athletics, F in class

Because student athletes miss a lot of class, there grades can get hit pretty hard.

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A+ in athletics, F in class

Volleyball players, who have their season in the fall, miss a lot of periods.

Volleyball players, who have their season in the fall, miss a lot of periods.

Volleyball players, who have their season in the fall, miss a lot of periods.

Volleyball players, who have their season in the fall, miss a lot of periods.

As the clock strikes half-hour,  129 players abruptly leave their classes to go play the sports they love most: volleyball, soccer, cross country, and tennis.

Athletes always have to miss class for sports and it is taking a substantial toll on the student’s grades, overall performance in individual classes, and even the teacher’s ability to instruct the students.  

Volleyball, tennis, soccer, and cross country are just a few examples of extremely time-consuming fall sports for girls. For volleyball players, they miss on average 1-4 periods per week, and they have an upcoming tournament in Wyoming where they will miss 6 periods. They play in two games per week, with one at home and one at another school. Tennis misses 1-5 periods per week and has 2 matches per week.  Soccer plays two games per week and on average misses 1-4 periods. Cross country misses about 1-3 class per week, depending on how far they have to go for meets.

That means that athletes overall can miss anywhere from 1-5 periods PER WEEK. If you play tennis, you could miss 15 periods in three weeks. That’s the equivalent of almost missing 3 full days of school. 

“The struggles are mainly trying to get the material from missed classes and having to get the notes I missed,” senior tennis player Karolyna Toscano explained. “I usually have to stay up pretty late or wake up early to get all of my work done. The hardest class to make up is math.” 

Motivation can be hard to find when you are surrounded by your friends and teammates on a bus, or in a noisy gym.  “I do like missing class for volleyball,” varsity volleyball senior Annie Sokolow said. “But it’s really hard to find the motivation to make up the missing work. Even though we have a whole bus ride and time before and after the games, I never wind up getting anything done because of all the different distractions,” Sokolow finished. 

Some student-athletes, like Nicole Merhi, find making up work easy.“It’s nice to miss classes, just to get a break,” freshman cross country player Nicole Merhi said. “My classes don’t usually have much work, so I don’t mind making it up. I would say that the hardest class to make up is either math or science.”  Merhi said. 

On the other hand, students like sophomore Emilie Etchart, hate missing class.  “I honestly do not like missing class on game days because it puts a lot of stress on communicating with teachers and finding out what assignments I need to make up,” Etchart, who plays on the sophomore volleyball team explained. “Due to my hard classes, the assignments I need to do actually take up the time during games instead of allowing me to cheer and support my teammates,” Etchart finished. 

Making up work, especially when you double up on classes, like taking two maths, is extremely difficult. “ I have a hard time making up all the work,” sophomore soccer player Mwende Kavila shared.  “It can be extremely overwhelming especially when you procrastinate. When I have lots of work I try to either leave practice early or not go at all. The hardest class to make up is math because I doubled up this year, so that means double the work. If I miss a class that means I miss notes and how it was explained,” Kavila explained. 

There is one perk: making up work is fairly easy for most classes. Many assignments are done on google classroom, moodle, and aleks, which makes missing class less harmful to athlete’s grades. If the assignment was not done online, teachers are still pretty good at putting the notes and or lectures on Google Classroom, or providing the resources needed if you send them a quick email. But, for some classes, it is not so easy. For example, it’s very hard to make up work in art classes. If you miss ceramics, you can’t bring your clay pot home to work on it. Try missing 2 ceramics classes per week and suddenly you’re two hours behind. To deal with this, students are forced to come in before school, after school, or during lunch just to play catch-up. Many athletes already have cramped schedules, so sometimes coming in after school is not feasible with practices and games. 

Missing class is a struggle that all athletes have to deal with, but most knew what they were signing up for when they committed to the team. Athletics do not only allow you to improve your skills and teamwork, but they also force you to exercise time management, a valuable skill in high school and beyond.