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Sports Beat

Why Aren’t High School Athletes Playing at K?

(Janelle Grant / Index)

Why Former High School Athletes Decided Not to Participate in K College Sports

Students who were high school athletes have easier access to be part of a sports team here at Kalamazoo College than at a larger school. While many students take advantage of the opportunity to play a sport, some students who were athletes in high school chose to not pursue sports at K for different reasons.

Janay Johnson ’17 said, “Initially, I wanted to join the lacrosse team because I liked playing for my high school, I was even in contact with the coach, but when I got the tentative schedule for practices, it freaked me out. I didn’t think I’d be able to manage lacrosse and classes at the same time.” Athletes are faced with the tradeoff of their time.

What could be spent doing extra studying, joining more clubs, or hanging out with friends is now spent with the team in practice. “Being active and involved is important, but if the sport isn’t something you absolutely love, the time commitment won’t be worth it,” Johnson said.

“After being at K for a year, I feel as if all of the teams really support each other, but I don’t feel as if I missed out because of not playing a sport since games can be very low energy. It would be frustrating to choose to give up time to represent your school, but peers have no interest or pride in the [school] sport.”

Tennis enthusiast Ansh Chaudhary ’18 would have enjoyed playing tennis at K, but didn’t feel confident in his abilities just yet. “Our tennis team is nationally ranked in Division III. In my opinion, it’s just a more challenging and demanding team to join,” Chaudhary said. He felt as if the time committed to play tennis would be worth it for him, “I love tennis. It would be a fun thing to do since I’m passionate about it.” Chaudhary intends to practice tennis during his free time and hopefully make the team next season.

Kriti Singh ’17 enjoyed playing softball for her high school in Thailand. “K athletics doesn’t really focus on getting international students to join their teams. I didn’t know who or where to go to join,” Singh said. Singh hopes to see more international students represented in sports.

Johnson, Chaudhary, and Singh agreed that they enjoyed being involved with their teams in high school, and their attitude of involvement did not end with high school sports. They’re involved with clubs, volunteer work, and academics at K, even though their particular sport still holds a special place of interest. “I chose not to go to the games. It’s a little hard for me to just be a spectator,” Singh said.

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Why Aren’t High School Athletes Playing at K?