The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Exploring the correlation between academics and athletics

Alyssa Bish
Many students must decide whether to focus on sports or school, but others create a balance between the two to succeed in both.

Being a student-athlete requires lots of responsibility, time management, and the ability to juggle multiple requirements. For some, balancing academics and athletics becomes too challenging, often leaving one as a higher priority than the other.

This, of course, all depends on the person and their goals and motives. Those who focus on more of an intellectual future will likely stress greater importance towards school and their academic performance. But on the contrary, those who aspire to take sports into their future, whether that means playing in college or even professionally, are likely to focus more on their athletic performance and development within their sport.

No matter what future a student envisions, balance is always required. When it comes to student-athletes, everything comes down to sports and school. But ultimately, academics are a foundation and play a determining role in one’s future.

Irene Oliveira, a physical education teacher at Carlmont and a former girls’ basketball and volleyball coach, has firsthand experience with the benefits of having academically-inclined players on her teams. During the 2005-06 school year, Oliveira’s basketball team made it to the Peninsula Athletic League semi-finals while also earning the state academic award with a cumulative team GPA of 3.96. Within this team, all the girls worked together and challenged each other to do their best.

“One of my players, Jennica Jansen, and a few of the other girls on the team would tutor their teammates and help them stay up to par,” Oliveira said.

Pullquote Photo

Athletes have to learn that it is better to be well rounded, especially with school and sports, rather than just being good at one.

— Irene Oliveira

Oliveira observed that due to the efforts made by all of the players and their dedication to learning, their ability to absorb game strategies increased significantly, ultimately contributing to their great athletic performance.

“The biggest correlation I found was that when I would drop a play, they could go out there and do the play without me having to stop and make corrections. This helped us advance faster,” Oliveira said.

Among the many teams she coached, Oliveira also recalled specific players who demonstrated the importance of academics and its correlation to athletics. Justine Record was one of these players.

“She got a full ride to Virginia Tech for volleyball and was invited to play four years professionally in France. Now I think she is an admin at a company in New York,” Oliveira said.

Record was noteworthy to Oliveira’s career as she was not only a great athlete and teammate, but also excelled academically, which is what allowed her to pursue a completely different career in New York City after playing volleyball professionally.

This lifestyle is a dream for many but is often out of reach for many student-athletes. Mia Khouri is a senior at Carlmont and plans to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a biology major. Throughout high school, Khouri was a dedicated soccer player while also knowing that school was more important to her.

“My priority was always on academics. While playing professionally was more of a dream job for me as a kid, I still continued to be disciplined and work exceptionally hard at soccer to try to achieve that goal,” Khouri said.

Although Khouri will not be playing for UCLA’s collegiate soccer team, she will instead participate in club soccer during her years of study. Going in this direction will allow her to continue to balance the fun of sports while still focusing on school.

“I was able to manage and balance sports and school by managing my time well and making a schedule each week to ensure I completed all my work,” Khouri said.

Sebastian Avants Hagan, a senior at Carlmont, is another student-athlete who continues to stress the importance of academics. Despite putting several hours of work a week into lacrosse, Avants Hagan still managed to balance it out with school work. However, like many other student-athletes, he ultimately realized his academic path after high school took precedence over his athletic future.

“I love the sport. And although being an athlete 100% gets in the way of my study, I know school is the priority. You can’t be an athlete without doing well in school,” Avants Hagan said.

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About the Contributors
Alyssa Bish
Alyssa Bish, Photo Editor
Alyssa Bish (Class of 2025) is a current photojournalist and editor for Scot Scoop. This is her second year in the journalism program and she is super excited to continue taking pictures for this award-winning program. In her spare time, you can find Alyssa on the field playing soccer on either her club team or the Carlmont varsity team. View her journalism website here: Alyssa Bish Photojournalism
Isabella Rice
Isabella Rice, Staff Writer
Isabella Rice (class of 2025) is a Junior at Carlmont High School and a second-year writer for Scot Scoop. Within the journalism program, she focuses on athletics and is often found taking photos at sports games or writing match reports. Outside of school, she can be found playing soccer for her club team or for Carlmont's Varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Exploring the correlation between academics and athletics