On The Court, In the Classroom

Seniors learn to balance extracurriculars, academics.


Completing a pass, he turns to coach and continues down the field. It’s after-school practice, and the football team prepares for the weekend’s game. He is hit with thoughts of basketball. Thoughts of driving for a layup. Thoughts of celebrating a big win with his team. His mind races and before he knows it, he’s back on the field. He hits the ground at the 30-yard line. Coach applauds.
Many student athletes participate in a variety of sports. From football to soccer, each sport requires specific sets of skills. Senior David Fontenot plays for the varsity football and basketball team. He knows the attention each sport needs in order to succeed.
“The two sports are very different, but similar in many ways. They require different types of training and knowledge, but at the same time they have similar team fundamentals,” Fontenot said. “Football is helping me learn how to be a better teammate. In a lot of ways, these two sports assist each other. This football season is definitely going to benefit my role on the basketball team.”
Students like Fontenot have to organize their weeks according to the sports they’re training. Basketball tryouts were Wednesday, November 3. As tryouts approached, Fontenot started to transition his mindset. He set aside an hour each day to toughen his confidence on the court.
“I’m slowly preparing myself for the upcoming season. I’m working on everything, from layup drills to my shot. Good thing is that football has gotten me into the best shape I’ve ever been,” Fontenot said. “I am really glad I joined the football team. It has made me a better player on and off the field, and I’m sure I’ll see more benefits once I get back on the court.”
Senior William Simmons, shooting guard for the varsity basketball team, knows a thing or two about striking a balance. Simmons multitasks and manages his time to develop schedules to handle his extracurricular activities. On top of basketball, he trains for track and field and participates in band and debate. He works to find time each day for each organization he is a part of. Simmons finds it important to give everything he does more attention than he’s asked for.
“Balancing my schedule between basketball, track, band, and debate has been a challenge. The desire I have of being a part of all four extracurricular activities makes me find ways to cope. The main thing I do is plan ahead. In all four activities I am given a schedule three months in advance. I take all schedules and develop a plan,” Simmons said. “Although maintaining multiple extracurriculars may be stressful it betters me as a person, giving me high integrity and allowing me to uphold responsibility.”
Some days, Simmons finds his extracurriculars overlapping. He balances debate meetings, sectionals for band, and basketball games all on the same day. Simmons believes his many responsibilities help build his character.
“Not only does it help my physical and academic aspects; it plays a big role in my mentality. Tackling all these different responsibilities forces me to be focused and determined,” Simmons said. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for being a part of all of these organizations. I recommend participating in everything that you can, sports or not, it’ll help you in the long run.”