Balancing School and Sports: The Best of Both Worlds


Sydney Hogancamp

Illustration depicting the controversy between sports and academics. To excel in both academics and sports can be stressful and take a toll on an student-athelete’s mental health. Graphic by Sydney Hogancamp

Sydney Hogancamp, Features Editor

Keeping up one’s grades in school can already be stressful, let alone trying to balance both academics and one’s athletic career. Student athletes face a vast amount of pressure from parents and teachers to shine in school and sports, which can feel both overwhelming and rewarding.

When athletes start the season, time gets slim. There is less time for homework, studying, etc. Practicing several times a week, numerous games, makes it a struggle for a student-athlete to do both. 

It is a controversial topic whether or not academics or athletics comes first, however, SJHHS highlights those who are able to do both.  

Even when it can be difficult, it’s fun and makes me feel accomplished. I’m surrounded by my friends which makes up a huge part of why I love to play

— Destefani

Senior Peyton Leonard, who plays varsity soccer and softball at SJHHS, committed to Pepperdine University to continue playing soccer at the next level. 

“My goal for soccer at Pepperdine is to go in really fit and to try and get playing time freshman year,” said Leonard.  

Not only did Pepperdine University seal the deal with their high soccer level, the university has the best location, close to home, and has amazing opportunities offered for future plans,

“I love the coaching staff and the amazing relationship that the team has. I’m looking forward to being there,” said Leonard. 

Senior softball player Regan Legg has committed to Oregon University to continue her athletic career at the collegiate level. 

“I’m excited to play college softball, I’m hoping to stay in shape this summer and play as a freshman,” said Legg. 

Legg has been playing softball since she was little, playing mainly outfield.

“My parents signed me up for softball when I was little and I cried. I did not want to do it. I stuck with it and I started getting good at it so I began to like it,” said Legg. 

Senior soccer player Lindsey Destefani has committed to University of San Diego to further her education and play division one soccer. 

“My favorite part about being a student athlete is the people you meet who are similar to you and easy to connect with. Sometimes school is tough but then I get to practice with all of my friends which is fun,” said Destefani. 

Destefani notes that being a student-athlete can be challenging, but it has paid off and is worth it. 

“Even when it can be difficult, it’s fun and makes me feel accomplished. I’m surrounded by my friends which makes up a huge part of why I love to play,” said Destefani.

Many student-athletes have to make sacrifices in other activities to excel and be successful. 

“Time with friends, time I could be doing other things, I’ve had to go to sports. I’ve had to sacrifice time with friends and family to go to practices and make things work,” said Leonard.