Schoolwork and Sports: How Do Students Meet the High Demands of Both?


Stella Walsh, Reporter

The athletic department at Durango High School acquires many participants each season. However, managing the workload and succeeding in sports is tough for students of all grade levels to keep up with. The athletic department of DHS requires that all players must be passing all classes or else they can’t play. Team coaches encourage their players to keep grades up, especially since good grades come first for colleges and careers.

Some believe playing a sport comes with getting good grades due to the ineligibility policy, but some disagree and argue that it takes time away from completing work.

“I don’t keep up with each individual player, but once their grades come out I check up on them and make sure they feel like they can balance school and football. I also make sure they know that school comes first,” said football coach David Vogt.

Academic checkups from coaches are beneficial for players because it shows the sense of responsibility that is required to be successful in both sports and school. A majority of athletes at DHS have a hard time finding time for other things besides school and athletics, but that is the sacrifice you make and DHS guarantees that it’s beneficial in present day and in the long term.

“Time management is probably the main skill I use. I need to have a set time for doing school work so I actually get it done and don’t procrastinate,” said Fort Lewis College So. David Schwantes.

Schwantes has played soccer in Durango since elementary school, so it’s been a huge priority in his life. Now, Schwantes plays for FLC and coaches the DHS boys and girls JV soccer teams. 

“School comes before athletics for all student athletes… Every coach would rather have a player ask for extra time to do school work than see them fall behind in a class,” said Schwantes.

All serious athletes should know that time management is a crucial skill in balancing work and sports. As you age, the workload will increase, but in return, the life skill of managing your time will strengthen.

“I try to manage time and communicate with teachers and coaches,” said So. Eli Fenton. Fenton was a starter for the Boys Varsity soccer his freshman year, so learning to balance the two was crucial for him. When he is not playing for DHS, Fenton is playing for Rio Rapids in Albuquerque, New Mexico, requiring him to be on top of the workload at school and practice on his own.

“Find time to get your work done. Sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice your sleep or your lunch break, just make sure to work hard to get it done,” said Jr. Dakota Padoven. Padoven plays for the DHS baseball team and has been successful in maintaining good grades during the season for the past two years, and plans on continuing through the rest of his high school years.

“I use most of my time after practice for homework and my Crew teacher also allows us to do work during class[…]New athletes should make sure that they have enough time to finish their work, whether that’s before/after practices or when given time in class,” said So. Angie Krueger. Krueger has also maintained good grades from the start. With support from coaches, teachers, and her family, she is influenced to succeed in both school and sports. “I see soccer as a privilege, and I enjoy it more since I have to earn it,” said Krueger.

Altogether, academics come first and the environment of the athletic department will assist any athlete in succeeding.  The lifelong skills of time management and communication are developed through theses experiences