A is for Academics and Athletics


Photo courtesy of Jacob Will

Similarly to many other students Kate Lally’s sport, volleyball, is starting up again and so is her school workload.

Emily Ishler, Staff Writer

With school starting back up, so are sports and activities, so how do students manage them all? Two students that are in a lot of advanced classes and sports, like many other students, share what they do to manage both. The key things they mention to succeed in both are time management, staying organized, and planning out when they do their homework ahead of time.

State High junior Kate Lally plays on the varsity volleyball team in the fall and this year is taking AP Language and Composition, AP U.S. History, Advanced Chemistry, and CP Algebra 2. Many student-athletes are in advanced classes which require a lot of time to do the homework and also have practices and games that take up just as much time.

Some seasons are more manageable than others. In the spring, Lally faces a more challenging semester. She’s in three sports: club volleyball, the girls’ lacrosse team, and the spring track team.

Most students go straight from school to their practice or games, Lally included. In the spring she often goes from one practice straight to another, leaving little time to work on her homework. She tries to get as much homework done as she can in her study halls and also aims to do work in between classes, and her practices. Lally recommends using Google Keep and also constantly checking the Canvas calendar to make sure students don’t miss any assignments.

While she is very busy, Lally finds that she gets more work done when she has less time because she knows she really needs to focus. Something Lally believes is key to keeping up with work is time management.

“I think time management is something that everyone should have but especially if you’re a student-athlete […] to be successful in both, school and sports, you need to put time in each […] you just have to […] commit yourself to getting your work done so you can go to practice and get that work done too,” Lally said.

In the fall, State High junior Alice Gipe plays for the varsity soccer team and is in the marching band. Many student-athletes try to stay active throughout the year to make sure they’re still fit and ready for their main sports season, resulting in them being in at least one sport each season. For the remainder of the year, after the fall season, Gipe plays for her club soccer and runs for the State High winter and spring track team. Just like other students this year she’s taking a lot of advanced classes including AP Lang, AP US History, Advanced Precalculus, and Advanced Chemistry.

Some days are busier than others for Gipe. On those extremely busy days, she doesn’t have any time outside of school to get her homework done. “I plan my week so that I have time to do homework on the days when my schedule is less packed,” Gipe said.

To start her week, Gipe often looks ahead at what days are the busiest, filled with soccer and/or marching band, and what days she has fewer after-school activities. She then plans to do her homework on those less busy days and recommends other students do the same because it helps her stay organized and focused on what needs to be done each day.

A lot of students have study halls during the year where they have time to do homework. While not everyone is constantly focused on getting their school work done for student-athletes they don’t have as much time outside of school meaning study halls are the best time to get classwork done. Gipe, like many student-athletes, also tries to get work done on the buses to away games. A method many students, including Gipe, use to keep track of their work is using a planner. Writing down the work that needs to be done has been proven to help students including Gipe.

While it can be stressful at times managing both schoolwork and outside sports many student-athletes know that in order to succeed in both they have to be just as focused in both. Managing their time and writing everything down allows them to keep up with school while still having a fun time playing their sports.