Student Before Athlete

There is nothing quite like it: Friday night under the lights. Whether outside on the turf or in the diamond, or inside on the court, sports give different athletes the same rush. Having the opportunity to wear your number on your jersey is part of growing up. But that’s not the best part. The best part is being able to represent the name on the front: your high school.

Athletes are judged on their performance, but that is only possible if their performance is up to par in another area. Excelling in the classroom not only gives student athletes the clearance to play the sports they love, it gives them the same rush, but with added responsibility.

Courtney Dietzel, who plays both basketball and lacrosse for CB South, said, “I take two Advanced Placement classes and one honors. Of course it is hard, but it is completely worth it. I love challenging myself.”

Courtney also added that during season she is more focused in the classroom. “Knowing I don’t have much time after school, I try my best to get a lot done during class.”

And challenging herself has definitely paid off as she has recently committed and signed to play with Drexel University’s lacrosse program.

It seems like a handful, and it is. Being a student athlete is challenging. CB South offers a rigorous academic curriculum from core classes all the way to extensive electives.  It is an institution that asks a lot from their students, but it is one that aids student athletes in learning key life skills, including time management.

Whether an athlete has practice or a game, every free minute is spent attending to homework. Many athletes can be caught working on assignments during lunch, on the bus, or before a game.

Even if a certain assignment is not due the next day, most athletes will finish it before the due date, knowing they have little time later in the week.

Taylor Dunn, a senior captain of the girls’ basketball team, said, “After practice, it is usually the same routine. I get home, eat dinner, and then get back to work. I’d say I put in about an hour or so each night working on school work.”

Many would think that with such an extensive schedule, a student athlete would get tired. So what is it that keeps each one moving forward?

Courtney Taylor, a junior who plays soccer, lacrosse, and basketball for South, said “As a student athlete, you learn a lot of important things. The most important thing I learned is that the effort you put in, is the effort you get out. When I want to get better at something on the court, I put my mind to it. I stay after practice, and I do everything I can to reach those goals. Same thing in the classroom.”

Courtney Taylor has recently committed to Temple University for lacrosse. She added that she feels she is well prepared to juggle a Division 1 sport and academics.

All athletes know that there is no “I” in “team.” This mindset, just like the other qualities mentioned, is another that transfers to the classroom.

Like sports, academics are a team effort among the faculty, students, and family. Faculty does all that they can to share knowledge with their students.

Many CB South faculty members have spent time after and before school to help an athlete understand a subject.

“I often have had to come in early to school to work with a teacher on something I was unable to understand during class,” said Dunn.

Lauren McCarthy, a South swimmer and softball player, said, “Of course I’m tired at the end of the day. My success in the classroom means just as much as it does on the field and in the water.”

Student athletes work extremely hard to achieve success in all aspects of their life. At the end of the day, the sports are what make the headlines of the newspapers, but there is still nothing like having your “A” paper up on the fridge next to it.