Apopka’s Academic Athletes

Apopka High School is well known for its sports, especially football, if you couldn’t tell from the pep rallies every Friday and the massive student section at football games. However, APK does have plenty more sports teams to cheer for. Diving into that fact, the students that participate in these sports have to be great at time management, having to maintain their grades while also working their hardest in their sport. A challenge athletes face is having to maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain within their sport. Anthony DeVita, a Senior here at APK, participates in baseball. He found “that having a busy schedule makes for late nights getting homework done and then early mornings, which is why I find it best to try and take advantage of any downtime during the school day to get some homework done before the next part of my day after school.” Antonio Ferguson, another Senior here at APK who plays football, brought up the struggle to get to sleep at a reasonable time. He explains, “Being a student-athlete [consists of] not getting enough sleep, not having the same amount of excess time to complete assignments as others.” 

Courtesy of the Apopka Chief

It’s no wonder why these athletes struggle to time manage; their schedules are packed from morning to night. Anthony shared his normal weekday schedule as a student-athlete: “Being a student-athlete ensures that I’m busy inside and outside of the classroom. A normal weekday involves a full day at school then baseball practice until about 4:30 to 5:00. And then after that, I will usually grab a bite to eat then I go to a personal trainer from about 6:30 to 8:00. Then it’s time to head home and work on homework.” Michaela Moss, a Senior who plays basketball, has other things filling her plate, such as religious practice, “Sometimes I get home from practice take a shower, either watch Netflix, read a book, or go on Tik Tok. Then eventually I’ll get around to doing homework. But other days I go to church, so I don’t have much free time.” Nehemie Gregorie, a Junior here at APK and one of our girl wrestlers, spoke out on the stress that comes with being a student-athlete. She says, “It’s fun but sometimes stressful. I go through my school day regularly and then after school I have about an hour to do work before practice starts. from 3:30- 5:30. I often try to stay for a second practice that starts at 5:30 and ends at 8:00 but if I have work I need to do, I’ll just go home and get that done.” Michaela described what it’s like to be a student-athlete perfectly, comparing it to having a job except “sometimes you’ll be sore and that’s unfortunate.” 

Girls wrestling team

Similar to having a job while you’re in high school, time management for athletes is always a struggle, finding the time to complete homework while also balancing out your physical achievement can be a massive struggle. Jacob Davis, a Junior here at APK who plays soccer, had some advice on being able to time manage as a student-athlete, saying, “Being proactive and not procrastinating has helped me manage my time and make sure I get all my work done.” Balance is always important when time managing. Nehemie ensures keeping the balance between her academics and her sport, explaining, “I try to keep up with my school work so it doesn’t cut into my practice time, but if I start falling behind I start to cut down my practice time so I can have time to study but it really varies on how I’m doing. regularly I would study right after I’m out the shower from practice.”

Jacob Davis

Many of our athletes take their sport incredibly seriously, as they plan to make a career out of the sport they are playing. “I take my sport very seriously because it is my dream to have my sport as my job. So I practice my sport a lot but I also make sure to set aside a set amount of hours for my academics. My studying time usually takes away from my sleeping time,” says Antonio. With that being said, many of our athletes already have set plans with their sport in the future. “I am currently committed to Rollins college to continue playing baseball and going to school and I am looking forward to the next level of both my academic and athletic career,” said Anthony. Antonio has big plans for his football career, sharing, “My plans after high school with my sport is to continue playing at East Carolina University. I have received a full-ride scholarship too and then fulfill my dreams of playing in the NFL.” Meanwhile, Nehemie loves wrestling and will jump on the opportunity of a scholarship if offered. “If I get a scholarship for wrestling I would most likely take it because it’s a fun but mentally challenging sport. It keeps me disciplined and sharp,” she said. Being a part of a sport is time-consuming and stressful, but obviously worth it as you can earn scholarships and continue to play as a career.

Antonio Ferguson
Anthony DeVita