Maintaining the balance

Wrestlers maintain balance between academics and athletics despite difficult schedule


Payton Amlong

Austin Smith kneels, breathless after a hard-fought match. Outside the ring, wrestlers including Smith find difficulty in managing a hectic schedule with their responsibilities to academics and their responsibilities to their team.

Megan Percy, Discover editor

On the mats, the Francis Howell Central Spartans are a ruthless force to be reckoned with, placing fourth at the GAC tournament on January 9th. They can be seen at every match giving their all, focused on the battle at hand and bringing their opponent to the ground as soon as possible. But when the match is over, after the thrill of the game is gone and they go home, they are average teenagers who, on top of their lives as athletes, have to deal with various other responsibilities. Some even take honors classes, like senior Brian Coombes.

Currently, I’m taking Pre-Calculus and Pre-AP Chemistry,” Coombes said. “I usually study at home and in whatever free time I have in class or in a study hall.”

Classes and homework pile up for young athletes juggling both academics and athletics, and wrestling practices more than almost any sport in the school, according to Coombes.

“We practice every day, except for Sunday,” Coombes said.

The number of meets also impacts the difficulty of balancing school and sports. There are 27 in total scheduled for this season, a season lasting only three months, which takes a toll on time for studying, based on when the matches occur.

“If we’re gone for two days, I won’t have anything to do with school, so I won’t be able to get any of that done over the weekends besides Sunday,” Coombes said. “If it’s a meet, usually I can get most of it done after the meet and then go to sleep.”

Some wrestlers, like freshman Dylan McBride, barely have time for anything other than wrestling and school.

“I really don’t have any extra spare time, I’m always at wrestling or doing schoolwork, so during the week I have no time but wrestling and homework,” McBride said.

Others have very few issues with the arrangement, however. Despite the numerous practices, some still find ways to do homework, like freshman Aidan Colby, who manages well with the schedule.

“It’s kinda hard but I just do [homework] right when I get home. I’m a little tired, but I get it done,” Colby said.

All in all, the wrestlers, while burdened by a lack of availability, bring the same resilience they have on the mats to the other aspects of their lives.

“[Wrestling can] get in the way but I figure out a way to get my work done and still be able to participate [in class],” McBride said.