Sports, College, and Homework Oh my!

A report on the overwhelming loads put on junior-year athletes at Creek


Photo by Nicole Benkelman

Nicole Benkelman, Staff Writer

Photo by Nicole Benkelman
Junior year is widely known as the hardest, most stressful time for many high schoolers. College, licenses, and SAT prep courses are just the start of such an important year. It is a turning point for many, and with more than half of highschool already over, it becomes a time to start a new chapter in life.

However, for athletes at Creek, the workload becomes nearly impossible. Creek is renowned for its academic programs and how much homework comes along with that title. Whether in an all-honors program or sticking with CP classes, Creek’s athletes have it hard.

Trying to cram sports, homework, dinner, family and friend time into the 6-7 hour period after school can be difficult. “I don’t have that extra time that other kids who don’t do a sport have,” said Emily Ancona, a Varsity Poms athlete. Oftentimes, the only way to make up for the time lost from sports for homework is to lose what usually matters most: sleep.

“There are some nights where I don’t even care what grade I get in school anymore, I [know I] have to get sleep…Having all of these extracurricular activities makes me stay up a lot later because of homework,” said Ancona.

img_0687Photo by Nicole Benkelman

Homework was intended to help kids understand the material they learn at school, but is it doing more harm than help? “I feel like I’m cramming [work] because I have to get it done. I have to turn it in for points rather than really understand the material. Languages take up 60% of my homework every night, and it’s an elective,” said Ancona. For many, just finishing the homework, rather than thoroughly understanding what they’re learning, is the only option, because there isn’t the time for finding meaning in what they’re learning.

Carter Still, a three-sport athlete at Creek, says that homework takes up half of her weekend. “Pretty much Sunday is doing homework. I eat dinner, usually while I’m doing homework, I hot tub, and do more homework in the hot tub… and then I wake up in the morning and finish more of my homework while I’m eating my breakfast,” said Still. She also mentions how homework and sports causes her to only get four to six hours of sleep each night, which thus affects her academics even further. “I’m super tired, so I sometimes won’t pay attention in class, and when I don’t pay attention in class, I fall more behind. [It’s] an endless cycle.”

“I really am not using anything that I learn in school to function in my daily life,” said Lincoln Harvey, who runs Cross Country and Track with the Cherry Creek team. “When you get home so late from practice…I don’t really finish my homework because I’m so tired” said Harvey.

However, sports also provides a lot of opportunities, not only for creating new friendships, but also teaching new and vital life skills. “Poms [is] really good at [teaching] time management. [With a sport,] your night is a lot more planned out,” said Ancona. Harvey describes sports as an opportunity for learning “teamwork, integrity, and working as hard as you can, which transfers over to [your] school lifestyle.”

Although Creek sometimes makes it difficult for athletes to succeed, it pays off in the end. “I’m super glad I do sports. That’s why I do three sports a year, just to get my mind off of school; it’s like a break for me. I could never go home and just do homework the whole night,” said Carter. “I like coming to Creek, and yeah, it pushes you, but I know I’ll be really ready for college,” she says. “Having a sport helps [me find] that happy medium. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Ancona.