Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Struggles of being a student athlete

Atticus McDowell, senior, dribbles the ball down the field versus John Burroughs on Saturday Oct. 7.
Claire Krob
Atticus McDowell, senior, dribbles the ball down the field versus John Burroughs on Saturday Oct. 7.

Imagine waking up at 6:30 a.m. every morning. You eat breakfast, brush your teeth and groggily drive to school before the sun rises. You sit through seven hours of excruciating AP and honors classes, and once the final bell rings, you head straight to practice for two and a half hours. When it’s all said and done, you’re left with a mountain of homework. For student athletes like Atticus McDowell, senior, this is reality. 

“It’s definitely difficult,” McDowell said. “[One night], I had a game versus CBC, didn’t get back home until nine and had to be at school at seven.”

McDowell, who is a center back on the KHS Boys varsity soccer team, said his course schedule can be challenging to stay on top of. He has taken multiple AP and honor classes in his four years at KHS, including AP Bio and multiple math classes, both of which take up a lot of his time.

“[Days with a lot of work] are especially hard,” McDowell said. “It’s usually [game days] that result in you staying up later.”

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Jack Kocher, senior, a small forward on the KHS Boys varsity basketball team and Missouri Phenoms national team, said he has to sacrifice doing things he wants to get schoolwork done. During basketball season there is not much time for relaxation.

“It’s a lot harder getting out of school and going straight to practice,” Kocher said. “Rather than just going straight home, getting homework done and having time to just rest and be able to do whatever I want.”

Lydia Sachs, senior, is a striker on the KHS Girls’ varsity soccer team, and said playing a sport in high school can be a great tool to get away from everyday life. But for her, she said it can be hard to find the balance between school, being an athlete and having a good social life. 

“I think it’s really helpful to have a sport [because it] can be an outlet at times,” Sachs said. “You’re wanting to achieve academic success, but you’re also wanting to make your teammates and coaches proud.”

Sachs, who also plays club soccer for Lou Fusz, said nothing changes between both seasons. She said both high school and club require time and effort.

“I feel like they’re both super busy,” Sachs said. “In the past I wasn’t as busy with club [soccer], but this year, I [have] practice four or five times a week.”

For those that travel for their sport, it can be difficult to stay on top of schoolwork while missing weeks of school. Sophia Mueller, senior, and center on the Cyclones club hockey team, said it can be hard to get work done while traveling for tournaments.

“Kirkwood doesn’t let our laptops connect to the Wi-Fi at hotels,” Mueller said. “So if you have a hotspot, you are fine, but otherwise you [need to] get it done before.”

Sachs said it also depends on the teachers. She said some teachers understand there’s life outside of school and some don’t. 

“Some teachers have kids and understand that it’s a valid excuse,” Sachs said. “And some people are like ‘Oh my god you were traveling for a sport and you didn’t get your homework done.’”

Kocher said he can miss important school days for basketball sometimes. He said he once missed a review day that affected his studying for finals.

“It made it tough,” Kocher said. “I brought some work with me so I knew what I was doing. I still felt prepared [for finals], but I definitely would’ve felt more prepared if I didn’t miss a day or if I stayed home.”

Kocher said being a student athlete is tough, but if you can stay on top of your work, you can be successful on and off the field. He said you can still enjoy your four years at KHS.

“If you manage your time well enough, you should be fine,” Kocher said. “If you have a harder schedule that takes more time, you’re going to have to give up some things that you want to do, but it will help for your future.”

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About the Contributors
Brennan Rea, sports editor
He/Him Hobbies and Interests: baseball, video games, weightlifting, golfing Favorite movie: The Wolf of Wall Street Favorite Quote: “Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it.” -2pac
Claire Krob, photographer
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: reading, going to concerts, listening to music Favorite movie: 10 Things I Hate About You Favorite Quote: “When you’re lost in the darkness, look for the light” - The Last of Us
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