Today: Jun 17, 2024

Student athletes balance schedules

Solé Scott – Features Editor

Football, basketball and soccer are just some of the sports that the university offers that bring a crowd to games. The university has a plethora of athletes who participate. 

Athletic training major Jasmine Branford, a sophomore, is a track and field athlete and a student worker. 

“It’s fun. Definitely had to make some adjustments when I got here,” said Branford. 

Branford has been on the track for two years and is from Norwich, Connecticut.  

Sports management Jahlil Watson, a graduate student, is on the football team as a linebacker. 

“I love it. I’ve been playing since I was five, so you know, I just grew up around it,” said Watson. 

Watson has been on the university football team since freshmen year. In his first year, he had already accumulated six tackles by the end of the 2019 season. 

Human resource management major Sabrina Downs, a junior, is on the dance team. 

“It’s really good. I like the environment we created,” said Downs. 

The dance team perform at university football games, women and men’s home basketball games and other events on campus. The team also competes on a local and national level. 

“I have danced for the last six years of my life,” said Downs. 

These three athletes work on campus on top of being an athlete and a student. 

“I work three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. Class two days a week,” said Branford.  

Watson’s schedule is also jam-packed throughout the week. 

“I’ll have weight room at eight in the morning, then I’ll come to work at 10 and get off at 12,” said Watson. “I’ll go to the library to do some homework, then from 2 to 6 is straight meetings, then practice.” 

Being a student athlete comes with high expectations that one must live up to in order to be in good standing with one’s team and the university. 

“When I first I got into college, it was difficult just managing and all that, but over time, just learning the schedule and learning the ins and outs of it,” said Watson. 

The university has 19 NCAA Division two athletic teams. It is easy to imagine how many students are juggling work, sports, school and social lives all at once. 

“Right now, we are in preseason, so our actual season does not start until December. Then, outdoor starts somewhere in the spring semester,” said Branford. 

The students sacrifice a lot of their time and energy for the sports they all love. The opportunities that are bestowed upon them are why student athletes continue to play their respective sports, but that comes with a cost which they each learn to pay in their own way. 

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