After batting, running, swimming or yelling “FORE!” CHS athletes spend time committed to their academics, earning well-deserved recognition by producing notable GPAs in spite of demanding extracurricular expectations.
Each season, CHS athletic director Golden Anderson submits the varsity sports teams’ average quarter GPAs to CCS to be considered for the Scholastic Team Award, which the girls’ soccer team won with an average GPA of 3.94 this past winter. Boys’ wrestling earned second place in their section with a 3.51.
This season, girls’ track and field has the highest reported GPA of all spring sports at CHS with a 3.57, followed closely by boys’ swimming and diving with a 3.53.
Despite these jaw-dropping numbers, students still face obstacles to achieving academic success, one of the most difficult being the task of balancing two major time commitments. Still, many see the benefits that come when one is a part of a team.
“There is a really supportive academic community within CHS sports,” observes junior Haven Parker, a member of the girls’ soccer team and girls’ track and field team. “There are a lot of teammates who are taking the same classes and understand how much work there is, so they’ll help you through it because they have to deal with the same thing.”
Anderson credits much of athletes’ success with the opportunities provided by the school, like office hours and study hall, but also recognizes certain characteristics of students that enable them to achieve academically and athletically.
“Usually, the athletes that can budget their time to get their work done and have that commitment to their academics can carry that discipline onto the field,” Anderson explains.
While CCS simply requires athletes to earn at least a 2.0, CHS policy also demands no “incompletes” after a 10-day period and no withdrawal fails, which occur when a student drops a class after the allotted time period.
“[Impressive GPAs are] something I expect of my girls, but this season in particular has been such a good year,” girls’ swim coach Di Whitesides notes.
As an off-campus coach, CHS track and field coach Shawn Parker, a North County teacher and Haven’s father, finds it difficult to know which students are having trouble academically, but he also recognizes CHS’ commitment to students.
“It’s wonderful that the academics at CHS support athletics and that people are working hard to have students become successful in all aspects of their lives,” Parker says.
Students admit that balancing their academics with extracurricular activities is difficult and often time-consuming, but many agree that pursuing both is worth the trouble.
“Practice is time consuming and it does take away a lot of time I could be doing schoolwork, but [swimming] is also a really important activity,” sophomore swimmer Yuan Tao comments.
For many student-athletes, they attempt a balancing act because, when it comes down to it, they have a passion for their sport.
“We are all great students, but we do not get a lot of sleep,” senior swimmer Nick Mikulich says. “Practice is hard, but we power through it because we love our sports.”
Girls’ swimming and diving has taken third place this spring for team GPA, followed by lacrosse with fourth and boys’ volleyball in fifth. All teams will know their CCS ranking sometime in May.