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On the road again

Brielynn Tovani juggles the ball away from a defender. Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

The life of a student-athlete can become quite overwhelming while trying to balance school, practice and their personal lives. Student athletes will have to succumb to the occasional away game.

Men’s Soccer

Junior forward Sasha Peranteau is no stranger to traveling for a game, but still finds it difficult to be away from his home.

“The thing I most dread is being gone and missing the Chico atmosphere and my friends,” Peranteau said. “Being gone for so long, you start to forget the great things that Chico offers, whether it is the Thursday Night Market or weekend trips to Upper Bidwell.”

He said that his biggest stress when traveling is being unprepared by forgetting his jersey or cleats.

“The thing that stresses me out the most while preparing is making sure that I didn’t forget my uniform or anything important for my games. There is no worse feeling than leaving on a flight, opening your bag in the hotel and realizing you forgot an essential article of clothing at home,” Peranteau said.

Despite facing hostility being the visiting team, Peranteau said he enjoys getting to connect with his teammates.

“When it comes to away games, it isn’t easy because the opposing fans are heckling you and you aren’t acclimated to playing on that field and in that specific climate, but being on the road is a time to have fun and connect with teammates,” Peranteau said.

First-year forward Justin Bethke expressed his discomfort of missing school and having to do school work while constantly traveling.

“Honestly, it’s just the school work I don’t really like to miss. It’s one less thing to worry about. I don’t take missing a school day any different with away games, it’s just like missing class for any other reason,” Bethke said.

Although Bethke worries about missing class, he said he has no concerns about traveling because it’s always well organized and well planned.

“I always expect to sleep and eat well. Our coach is very on top of keeping a schedule while being on the road,” Bethke said. “Coach normally has something planned to get us out of the hotel every day, we went to Mission Beach while we were in San Diego, and he usually has everything precisely planned out.”

Women’s Soccer

First-year forward and mid-fielder Brielynn Tovani said that she felt the team chemistry was bolstered by visiting the homes of some of her teammates while on the road.

“We have a lot of people on the team from all over California, so most of the time when we travel we are able to go to families’ houses and get great meals and be with everyone,” Tovani stated.

Along with meeting new people and connecting with her team, Tovani said the memories she makes while on the road are a treasured part of her college experience.

“We will often find things to do on the off days in between games, for example, last weekend while in San Diego we went to a science exhibit that was interactive and that was actually pretty entertaining for everyone,” Tovani said.

Missing class and being on the road constantly is the biggest struggle of being on the road, according to Tovani.

“My least favorite thing about being on the road is stressing about school and not being able to be in class to actually learn the material from my professor. Playing wise I mostly get stressed out about my body being fatigued from traveling,” Tovani said.

Women’s Volleyball

Senior setter Torey Thompson expressed her discomfort of being on the road as she prefers having the home court advantage.

“The one thing that might be my least favorite about travel trips would be the different gyms we play in. Nothing compares to Acker and having our Wildcat family cheering us on at home,” Thompson said.

Although Thompson prefers to play at home, she said that the team chemistry on the road is what makes the experience rewarding.

“My favorite part about being on the road, besides the matches, would be spending our down time playing a bunch of different games in the vans or in the hotel rooms,” she said.

Hitting the road for a big game can be both an incredible experience and a detriment to an athlete’s grades, as they travel and experience new locations while also facing being away from home for extended periods of time.

Gabriel Moreno can be reached at [email protected] or @GabeSports3 on Twitter.

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