Student athletes challenged by homework demands

By Andrew Copeland, Tyler Holcomb, Brandon Cosby, Coleton Adams - For The Tribune

Transitioning to high school can be tough, but attempting to remain active in sports as well as taking strong academic courses can be particularly challenging. Student athletes often struggle with the time demands of homework along with long practices and travel for away games.

Some student athletes would like to have less homework so they could have more time to work on their sport skills. However, the adults in charge do not take that view.

Tony Duncan, athletic director, PE teacher, football, middle school swim, and tennis coach, feels homework can be very valuable for student athletes. Duncan said, “[Homework] teaches kids how to discipline time, prioritize work, and keep out of trouble.”

Most adults realize that homework should be of good quality in order to be valuable. Jacob Riley, history teacher, football and baseball coach, said, “If it is not just busy work. If it helps you.”

Joel Hoyle, principal of Elkin High School, had a similar view that homework with a purpose was valuable for everyone, not just student athletes. “If it is used in the right way. If it prepares for a lesson, but busy work, no,” said Hoyle.

The teachers and coaches also were asked if they would ever consider cutting down homework for student athletes, but they were not in favor of making a decision which unfairly favors some students over others. Duncan said, “Absolutely, no.”

Riley’s opinion was similar. “No, because it is treating athletes different.” Hoyle as well said, “No, not just for student athletes.”

All the teachers and coaches have similar opinions about student athletes and homework. For now, it looks like student athletes should resign themselves to better time management since the homework is a reality to stay.

Andrew Copeland, Tyler Holcomb, Brandon Cosby, Coleton Adams are English students at Elkin High School.

By Andrew Copeland, Tyler Holcomb, Brandon Cosby, Coleton Adams

For The Tribune