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Senior Student Athletes and Balance

Written by CHS Staff

Boden Miller

CHS Feature Article



Senior year of highschool is a whirlwind of responsibilities and anticipation, no one is denying that. Even at the most basic level of involvement, there are still tremendous life choices and numerous crossroads that one will meet. Yet, despite all of these factors, there are those who go above and beyond.

Student Athletes dedicate themselves to the feat of managing a role as a player as well as a student, balancing and working hard as both each day. It’s an intimidating task, but not without it’s rewards. As the Fall season draws to a close, we will take a look at some of the outstanding players within their sports. When looking at this balance between extracurriculars and academics, we asked athletes to describe challenges and personal sacrifices they must make to maintain the schedule they’ve chosen. Everything from relationships to sleep schedules is subject to this massive load of responsibility and time management.

Audrey Freyhof is one of, if not the most, talented runners for the Women’s XC team, and also at the top of her class, participating a several AP classes. When asked about the impact sports has on her lifestyle, she said that maintaining a hectic sports obligation and a wealth of school work has taught her how to better manage her time. She says that “at the end of the day, I know it’s all worth it.”, even if that means sacrificing time with friend in order to study or catch up on sleep. For Audrey, this “invaluable experience” is something that she believes has made her both a better student and a better teammate.

For Caleb Leinbach, a Football player and senior student aiming for college, the biggest sacrifice was the time he has to give up with his family. Another challenge he faces is the workload, which makes it difficult to keep up with the assignments he is expected to complete. He says, “I have even considered quitting sports in order to put more of my focus on schooling.”

This just goes to show how committed Caleb is to his education, and how intense the schedule for senior year can be.

Luke Koopman is a prominent member of the Men’s XC team, and is known both by his teachers and coaches to be a hard worker, and someone who pushes himself to be better. When asked about what comes first when a conflict between his sport and school arises, Luke said,  “I usually choose running. School is more important, but running is more fun.” Luke also mentioned that in the summer he works full-time, and often has to wait until 10 or 11 o’clock at night to go for a run, but he still remains committed. This all goes to show his commitment to his sport, and how it has gone even beyond that. It’s more than a sport, it’s a major part of his life, even above his grades. He says that the sacrifices mainly are found in less free time, but that it’s all worth it for the fun of it.

Sydney Eustice partakes in both Golf and Soccer, and recently signed to attend Central Michigan University. Sydney had a lot to say about her lifestyle, but what stood out to me the most was her dedication and resilience surrounding her sports and school. According to her, sports have always been important, even essential to her. She went out of her way to try as many as possible, but even her drive couldn’t ignore the reality of it all. During middle school, she was participating in three different sports in one spring, and knows it was an overwhelming situation for everyone, not just herself, “My parents had to cart me around everywhere, practices, friend’s houses, etc.” Obviously this played a part in the decision she later made to drop a few sports in an effort to shift her priorities to school, and put less stress on herself and her family. This change also allowed for more time with friends, but the friends that she didn’t spend time with at practices and through her teams received less time, time she just didn’t have. For Sydney, all of this and more contributes to her views of being a student athlete, and now as a senior, she says that,  “sports have helped me be better with keeping track of my schedule..I know now where my priorities lie, and have the skills to get there.”

All of these athletes have their own unique perspective on their craft, and how that delicate but essential balance in their lives has impacted them. Their stories and aspirations just go to show the commitment and initiative that can be found even in young adults. All of this evidence makes it easy to come to this conclusion: They all are grateful for the skills and opportunities their sports have provided them, and will use what they know about sacrifice and time management in all aspects of their future lives.