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Chico State athletes look to score big points, good grades

TaylorMaddox

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Photo illustration by Sam Rivera  Sophomore McCall Habermehl, a member of the women’s cross-country and track and field teams, finds time for school and athletics.

Photo illustration by Sam Rivera
Sophomore McCall Habermehl, a member of the women’s cross-country and track and field teams, finds time for school and athletics.

Do you ever find yourself hopelessly adrift in a sea of homework? Buried by due dates and midterms?

Imagine how Chico State’s student athletes feel.

Every semester, some of Chico State’s brightest students hope to establish a healthy balance between their scholastic and athletic demands. While they try to find time for road games and schoolwork, many student athletes can get buried by stress and fatigue.

Nate Appel, a junior on the Chico State men’s basketball team, is no stranger to the complicated life of a student athlete.

“I needed my first few years at Chico State to figure out what exactly worked,” Appel said. “It all starts with getting your priorities straight.”

Appel warned that being a college athlete doesn’t come without sacrifices.

“It’s tough to have a social life sometimes,” Appel said. “I’ll go out with friends on weekends when I can, but school and basketball always come first.”

James Stroud, a senior on the Chico State men’s soccer team, juggles sports and school daily. He’s hopeful that many people acknowledge the balancing act that student athletes grapple with and ignore some popular stereotypes.

“People have grandiose ideas of athletes not having to turn in assignments, skipping class whenever they want or being best buds with all the professors because they play sports,” Stroud said. “That simply is not the case. If I don’t get my school work done, I have no chance of playing my sport next semester. It’s really just as important to me as the sport itself.”

Appel and Stroud are not alone in their pursuits. Carly Singer, a senior on the Chico State women’s soccer team, said many student-athletes learn as they go, developing the ability to handle mixed obligations as their college careers progress.

“It has gotten easier over the last four years because I’ve learned how to manage my time,” Singer said. “I study for tests the week before, not the day before. On travel trips, when we have downtime, that’s when you should study and get things done.”

Although the work can be hard to balance, it all pays off when the whistle blows, Appel said.

“It can be difficult to manage at times,” he  said. “But playing for Chico State makes it completely worth it.”

 

Taylor Maddox can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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Chico State athletes look to score big points, good grades