The Conflict: Sports and Smarts

photo by Alexis Burch

The Tigers win! The Tigers win! After a win for Dripping Springs, the victors from the game conclude their day with numerous hours of homework and studying.

The student-athletes at Dripping Springs High School are slammed with hours on hours of practices, games, homework, studying, and their own personal lives. How can this stop or be helped? The student-athletes speak out.

This year at Dripping Springs High School athletes from the Football, Basketball, Golf, Swimming, etc. programs have been struggling with keeping up with their grades along with their UIL sports. The student-athletes themselves have come out and said what can be fixed and how school and sports could better complement each other.

“There are many difficulties and challenges to overcome; first of all, missing days due to golf tournaments can always damper your intellectual ability to retain information, but I think the biggest problem is having to juggle [school and athletics] at the same time,” freshman golfer Patrick Englehart said.

Not only (as Englehart said) are you unable to receive the knowledge but time may not present itself to receive the teachings.

“Sometimes we have to wake up early and we don’t get enough sleep,” Dripping Springs freshman varsity football player, Andrew Johnston, said. “It’s hard to make tutorials, and we have practice after school that doesn’t allow us to talk with the teachers after.”

With these disadvantages, students have proposed ways to fix them.

“[The teachers] could give us our work in advance so that we can do it when we do have time,” Johnston said.

Another was proposed on what to do when they miss class:

“[The staff] could send memos out to teachers, even though I tell the teachers when I’m going to be gone. They should send memos out saying that the kid will be missing and to not count anything as a zero, which will then lead to a more accurate representation of my grade,” Englehart said.

Being a student-athlete, there are many moments that may make the student-athlete think it unfair and not worth it, but one of the main advantages is the pride in being a Dripping Springs Tiger.

“You get to be a part of the school and support/represent Dripping Springs and gain wins for the teams,” freshman tennis player Ellyson Smith said.

With the trouble that the average student-athlete possesses, the teachers and staff have been helpful towards the students.

“I think the teachers are doing a good job helping my son and his classmates,” Greg Willis, parent, said. “Teaching is a very under-appreciated career and I am happy with teachers that are committed and have patience and understand the uniqueness of each student they have. I appreciate the teachers that take the time to fully understand how to best get through to a particular student to help them achieve their goals.”

“[The teachers] are usually very cooperative because they know that your class isn’t the only thing you ever do, so usually they give you more time on assignments, especially if you try hard and go before school and see what you have in that class,” Smith said.

No matter what type of student you are, at one point you may need help with your assignments and that’s where the students have to turned to their parents and guardians.

“They always tell me what I need to get done and when it needs to be done. My dad will look over some of my essays and make sure the [material] is good so I can make good grades,” Englehart said.

Despite all the hardship of being a student-athlete, another advantage is learning other life lessons.

“There are many life lessons that are learned in being an athlete,” Willis said, “such as teamwork, overcoming challenges, and never giving up when things get tough.”


Written by Rigley Willis

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