West High Student-Athlete Grind

Mimi Morgan, Reporter

West Anchorage High School is chock-full of highly talented and dedicated student-athletes.  With busy schedules and aching muscles, student-athletes at West are hardworking kids.  However, West’s student-athletes aren’t alone on their 24/7 grind.  West is also bursting at the seams with staff and coaches who are eager to support their student-athletes.

One of these people would be Tim Davis, the head coach for the boys’ varsity football team here at West. Davis believes that being in a school sport can be compared to just taking an extra class. “Any sport where your abilities are seen and shown, requires some learning that other classes don’t… I just see it as a seventh hour class,” Davis concludes. “A student-athlete to me is a multi-talented student.”

Along with being a student on the field, Davis has an academic standard for all his players in school.  The requirement is a GPA higher than a 2.0.  To achieve this, the football team holds study halls twice a week, where players can get academic help. Davis has also coached baseball and plays the sport himself.

A junior at West and a varsity football player, Steven Sarber says it’s difficult to balance school, sports and a social life.  Sometimes he’s so busy that by the time he gets home from school and practice, his younger brothers are already asleep, and he doesn’t have a chance to see them until the next night.  However, Sarber says that it’s worth it, stating, “I’ve always liked playing football.  I’ve been playing it for a while…It’s fun to win. I like winning with my team.”

Similarly, Zoe Scott, a junior at West and a zealous dancer, says she spends three hours dancing every afternoon, along with four or more hours doing homework for her IB and AP classes.  Although Scott loves to dance, when asked what her priorities as a student-athlete are, she says, “Grades. And my parents have told me that.  But, I mean, it’s also a balance between getting those good grades and realizing when to take a break and do the things I love.”

Scott recognizes that there are cons in addition to pros while being a student-athlete.  She says, “A pro is that you’re a really well-rounded person.  You learn how to work hard in a lot of different situations and you get to be really strong in a lot of different areas.  Cons are that there isn’t a lot of time. Which means that sometimes your social life can suffer a little bit or you’re more stressed out and you’re doing homework during lunch or before school.”

However, Scott doesn’t let the detriments hold her back from chasing her goal of “pursuing things I love while excelling in academics.”

Scott also expounded upon her appreciation for DanceWest, saying that she loves the constant support and diversity, which is in contrast to the dance studios she practices at where “the girls look very similar.”

Both Sarber and Scott say that they have enjoyed their experiences as student-athletes and want to continue it throughout their high school career.