Inside Look: Balancing a Student-Athlete Life


Samantha Adourian and Rachel McIntyre, Staff Writers

Waltham High School is filled with talented students, athletes, and student-athletes! Student-athletes make up a large portion of the student body at WHS. After walking down the halls during the second to last period of the day, we randomly surveyed 30 students whether they played one of the in-season sports. Seventeen students said “yes” while the other thirteen said “no.” The sports teams at WHS are a huge part of the city’s community. The fall sports especially have a huge role in the beginning of every new school year. People look forward to watching the games, as well as the events that follow such as Homecoming. 

As freshmen we are new to high school, so we knew how popular the games are, but we hadn’t yet experienced the excitement of standing in the student section. 

Some of the sports that are in season right now at WHS are soccer and football. Two-time captain of the girls varsity soccer team Julia McIntyre (‘23) mentioned that the soccer team meets every day after school and most Saturdays. A varsity sport is a huge commitment that will leave you with little free time. Some of her favorite things about playing soccer throughout high school are the memories and friendships she has made. However, we can never forget that, “Late work is late work,”  no matter how many commitments you have. And with sports like varsity soccer meeting six out of the seven days of the week, turning in work on time can be a struggle.

With a busy schedule comes big responsibilities. When asked what the most challenging thing was about balancing student life with being a full time athlete, McIntyre said, “Finding time to study on top of doing your assignments… ‘Cause you want to get your assignments done first, then you also have to study… And on top of that finding time to see your friends that aren’t on the soccer team.” 

Shoutout to all freshmen because if you think your workload is heavy now, start preparing for being an upperclassman because it only gets harder. “Throughout junior year and senior year the workload gets a lot heavier than it is freshman year and sophomore years. As you get older the workload just keeps increasing and the meaningfulness of your work is times 10,” said McIntyre.

“Just being able to know and show that you can do all of this at once, like you can play a sport and you can balance all these academics even though you have such a demanding schedule,” that’s the reward according to McIntyre. “It’s a fun thing to be so involved in the school and school spirit, especially if it’s a positive outcome for the high school. It’s good to know that you’re part of that positive impact.” 

The football program at WHS is like one big family, they go through so much together both on and off the field. Isaiah “Izzy” Louissant plays the position of an offensive lineman. He takes pride in his blocks and his work ethic as the team meets six times a week, twice a day, once in the morning before school and after school until around 6:30-7:00 PM. Louissant says that this demand on time and energy is definitely one of the most challenging parts of being a student-athlete.

Louissant extends his work ethic to the classroom and has never been in-eligible to play football due to his grades. When asked whether or not he feels that his teachers let him off the hook when it comes to handing in late work, as opposed to attitudes towards late work from non student-athletes, Louissant said, “Yes, I think I do, if I’m being real.” 

So what makes it worth it with all of those late night practices and early wake ups? “Winning games!” 

Louissant had a very heartfelt answer about the demands of football on his student experience, “I feel left out on being a ‘superfan’ for Waltham High, I feel like I say I am, but physically I am not, because every time there is a game for other sports, I just can’t go because of football.”

“The older you get, the more serious it gets,” said Louissant, as during freshman year playing is about fun and making friends , but as you approach sophomore and junior year that is when college scouts start to become interested in you as a player, raising the stakes.

Two different WHS students in two different sports have practically the same things to say when it comes to balancing a successful student-athlete way of living. It’s tough and it just gets tougher and it’s worth every minute.