Senior athletes juggle project requirements and sports


Photo Credit: Catherine Braman

Senior Jonte Claiborne is busy going from her senior project to softball games and practices. “I only have a half hour between my internship and my sport. I know it is going to take longer than that to get back to school. So I know I will be a little late to [softball] practice,” Claiborne said.

While seniors are busy doing their senior projects and completing community service  hours, there are some who choose to add one more activity to their plate: the commitment of competing in a spring sport.

The guidelines for the senior project expect students to complete a minimum of 27.5 hours per week, seven of which can be counted for sports practices and games. In addition, seniors must complete a minimum of 12 service hours throughout the month of their senior project. According to Mike Brown, Assistant Director of Athletics, there are 33 seniors participating in athletics this spring.  “Most [student athletes] have their projects finished by 2:00 p.m. so that they can get back to school for practice or on a bus for a competition,” Brown said.

If students have a conflict, Brown indicated that all the coaches are very flexible as long as they know about it ahead of time.

Senior Varsity Softball player Jonte Claiborne is doing her senior project at North Suburban Counseling Center working with a child psychiatrist. “It is going to be the hardest to get to practice and games on time because of how packed my schedule is. I only have a half hour between my internship and my sport.  I know it is going to take longer than that to get back to school, so I know I will be a little late to [softball] practice,” Claiborne said.

Transportation is also a factor to consider. Since Claiborne doesn’t have a car, she will has to rely on the bus or her father to get from place to place.  If she runs into conflicts with her sports commitment and senior project internship, she plans to keep everyone informed.  “I think it will be a lot easier if I communicate with people. My mentor is really flexible so I am not too worried about it,” Claiborne said.

For senior golfer Alida Mitau said that what is important is “just making sure that I get the right number of hours every week.” Transportation is not a problem for Mitau because she has a car.  However, she still has to allow for extra time to get from her senior project location to the golf course.  “One benefit of competing in a spring sport is [being out in] the nice weather,” Mitau said.

Mitau is doing her project at Bridging, a non-profit that helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty by donating furniture and house goods.

While senior spring athletes may have a few more details to take care of, they are able to balance and manage their commitments during this busy time. With the support of the athletic department and the the coaches, seniors do not have to sacrifice their participation in spring athletics.

One positive aspect? “I don’t have to worry about homework,” Mitau said.

NOTE:  This is a just a peek at what will  be in The Rubicon’s May edition hitting stands later this month.