Q&A: Get to know student athletes

Many people don’t understand the ups and downs that student athletes experience. Here is some insight into the lives of athletes from five different sports.

What are some of the struggles of balancing class and your sport?

Sophomore Daylon Owens, varsity football:
“Practices are usually after school, and they end around 5:30 [p.m.] Whenever I get home, it’s really tiring and hard to work on [school] work, but I still get it done.”

Senior Devon Cartwright, varsity track and cross country:
“Not falling asleep in class is hard. [So is] getting up early and running, then going to school. It’s not [that I don’t have] time for studying, I just [struggle with] having energy to go throughout the day.”

Sophomore Daniel Ahn, junior varsity wrestling:
“[The hardest part is] the fact that you have to pass your classes and focus on your sport. You have practices during the weekend and on breaks, but at the same time, you also have to study for [school]. Balancing is pretty challenging.”

Sophomore Rachel Lambert, junior varsity volleyball:
“Trying to complete [school work] on time and correctly with all the games and practices can be difficult sometimes, but you have to be organized.”

Junior Hailey Cho, junior varsity basketball:
“One of the biggest struggles is time management. With practice after school, games and tournaments, it’s hard to keep up with all of my classes. I try to spend all the time I can, like advisory and free time at home, to keep up with my school work and study.”

What keeps you motivated when things get hard?

Owens: “The love of the game. I get motivation from my family and [I know] what I need to do.”

Cartwright: “My goals. I like to set big goals, so I have to work harder to achieve them. It’s about being disciplined.”

Ahn: “Progress. If you’ve made it this far, you can’t quit now.”

Lambert: “The love for the sport: wanting to do well [for yourself] and for your teammates.”

Cho: “Basketball is a really big stress reliever for me. Whenever I get stressed about school, basketball helps me let it all out on the court and forget about the stresses of school and other outside things. That motivates me to keep going because it helps me enjoy something when everything else is stressful.”

What is the best thing about being on a team? What about the environment attributes to the overall value of playing sports?

Owen: “The best thing about being a team is that we’re all family. Whatever happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. We’re [a] family outside of school and [in] school. [We have] dinners on Thursday [and] we’re always having fun.”

Cartwright: “I think our team is awesome; we really love each other. Practices are fun, [and] everyone’s having a good time. Even if you’re not really feeling [the workout] that day, hanging out afterward with the team always brightens up the morning.”

Ahn: “The good part about being on a team is that they push you. When you want to give up, they keep you going.”

Lambert: “My teammates and our team bond. We want to be hype and represent Hebron well. It’s a big part of why it’s so fun.”

Cho: “I really love my teammates because they are always pushing me to be my best [and] they’re always there beside me. I think the environment that we’ve created by getting closer, pushing each other and having fun while we practice is something that I really enjoy.”

What is the significance of losing?

Owens: “It really is important to lose a game every once in a while because it helps you learn how to take a loss. It shows how you need to be humble, catch your wins [and] never get your head too high.”

Cartwright: “I think that losing is more of a motivation builder. Next time you’re not really feeling like running or working out that day, you’ve got to think back to the loss.”

Ahn: “Your ego drops. It’s a solo sport, [so] everything you do, it’s on you. [Your loss] is going to help you do better because you know how [losing] feels.”

Lambert: “[Losing] teaches you to persevere and learn from your mistakes. We do sprints for [losing], which the girls always dread, but in the end, it helps us come together as a team and figure out what we did wrong.”

Cho: “I think losing helps me to push myself to get better, because you can’t always be perfect. Losing helps me to achieve [my goals] and push myself harder and work harder in practice and at school.”

What is your future in your sport? Do you plan to continue in college?

Owens: “I [would] love to go to college to play football and get a scholarship to get my school paid for. I just need to apply my work ethic.”

Cartwright: “I hope that I can run in college; that’s my goal.”

Ahn: “I’m not really sure if I will continue in college, because in college you dedicate your life [to the sport]. I’m not sure if I’m ready to put that much time into it, but hopefully I’ll get a couple more years.”

Lambert: “I plan to do volleyball for years, and hopefully in college as long as they’ll let me.”

Cho: “I’m not sure yet. Right now, I’m just trying to balance my academics and my sport the best I can, and then I’ll see where that takes me.”