JJ SAYS: ‘Git-R-Done’ time for seniors
If local high school seniors don’t already know, they are about to find out that life is about more than sports.
It is spring break for most area schools, the last true chance to grab a much-needed rest from the daily grind of school life. Starting on Monday, it is a sprint to the finish of the school year, with one deadline piling on top of another deadline.
Term papers, projects and assignments are all due. That doesn’t even count finals, which loom like a storm cloud in the distance. The size and severity of the storm depends on how much preparation has been done throughout the semester. For even the best prepared, there is anxiety.
Meanwhile, there is the specter of what comes next. There are decisions to be made about college, about jobs, about leaving home.
Along with end of school and next-step preparations, there are all the social events — the prom, the club activities, the friends to spend going-away time with.
It can all get a little wild, a little crazy and a whole lot hectic.
Then you mix in sports. The next six weeks will culminate what many of the area’s senior athletes have been working for since they were old enough to hold a bat, a stick or a racquet.
From now through the end of the school year, high school athletes will be competing in baseball, lacrosse, softball, track and field, boys golf, swimming, boys tennis or badminton.
To the participants, every one of these sports are important. For the next month, young athletes in all these sports will be battling for league championships.
Once league titles are decided, things are just starting to get busy. Just as the academic, social and post-high school decisions really heat up, athletes head into post-season play. About the time finals hit, athletes begin league playoffs followed by North Coast Section competition.
It is not unusual for late-season games to be delayed or even postponed because players are taking finals or SAT tests.
On one occasion, I covered a softball playoff game where the players changed out of the uniforms and into their prom dresses in the back of a limousine following the game.
At a time when athletes should be focused on their sport, they have literally hundreds of distractions swirling around them.
One of the questions I always ask young athletes when I talk to them about their accomplishments and future plans is how they manage studies, volunteering and other extra-curricular activities, often a job and sports.
Quite often the answer is, “I’m not sure. I just get it done.”
A bit more prying reveals that homework is often done by giving up lunch, staying up late and superior time management.
What I never hear a student/athlete say is that he/she ever sacrifices athletics for academics or academics for athletics.
It is a crazy time of the school year for seniors, and about to get crazier, but they seem to know how to heed the sage advice of that well-known philosopher Larry the Cable Guy — they “Gitter Done” both on the playing field and in the classroom.
(Contact John Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org)