Oak Ridge, Sports

Athletics or Academics?

Passion and education. What is more important? Life as a student-athlete has changed the game. Growing up, thousands of kids dream of making it to varsity as a freshman in high-school, being the best out of the best, working to get a full-ride scholarship and playing as a professional. Students put in at least 20 hours a week, practicing. As students move up the high-school “food-chain”, reality sets in. Coaches repeatedly tell their players, “School always comes first”. The workload of taking 4 and more Advanced Placement/Advanced classes each year, handling practices every day for two, plus hours and the extra-extra curricular activities is a very-well known struggle.

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“Roughly 54% of students who attend Oak Ridge High School are athletes, but only 2% of those athletes make it to play college sports.”

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From the time that children are able to walk and play, they are pushed to play sports. Whether it is football, baseball, basketball, or any other sport that a person plays, it takes a toll on things that he or she should be focusing more time on. Academics is one major thing that can be pushed to the side when a student becomes focused on athletics. Student-athletes are given a certain grade point average that they will need to meet in order to stay on the team. But with a low GPA like that, will it get you into college if sports don’t work out? Roughly 54% of students who attend Oak Ridge High School are athletes, but only 2% of those athletes make it to play college sports. The remaining 52% of student athletes don’t make it to play in college. To most colleges, being a star player won’t matter if you don’t have the grades. Being astudent athlete isn’t as important as being just a student. Education is the number one objective from going to school. Being a student-athlete provides quite a distraction to focusing on his or her academics. Distraction is not good for a student athlete who is trying to manage school and sports. Distraction kills the success of student learning.

The best of the best are classified as those who show the same dedication and passion to their academics as they do their sports. To most colleges, being a star player won’t matter if you don’t have the grades. Balancing the time to finish homework and study for numerous tests, with practices, games and team-bonding exercises ha

s its benefits. College representatives are impressed with the athletes with good grades while playing as a star player on the team. Even if a student ends up not playing in college, their college resume looks the best and the brightest as students show off their great time management skills.

Although sports are a main topic at Oak Ridge, along with many other high schools, academics  are, and should always be, the first priority. Extra curricular activities and athletics are a good way to boost your resume and 

a way to distinguish yourself from other college applicants, but athletics should not be the main concern for high school students. If students at Oak Ridge cannot find their happy medium between academics and athletics, they should put more focus on academics. Academics help students get into a college, and if sports distract the primary focus, it’s not important.

By Ariel Sonenstein, Shaina Shah, Megan Nowag, and Ashley Rabang

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