The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School

The Pony Express

Putting the Athlete in Student Athlete

Every school year, there are around 18 sports that a student can choose to play. During the 9 months of enrollment, Spring, Winter, and Fall have their own sports that they host for around 3 months. Each of these activities require heavy commitment and consume a student’s “after-school life.” Kids that play school sports are taken out of class for early games and have two hours of practice every day after school, if not more. It is very hard for a student to manage the stress of sports and school for one of the seasons, but some kids in C Milton Wright go above and beyond.  

There are a few students who dedicate their athletic ability to CMW by being an active member of 3 school sports teams in all three seasons. For the entire school year, some students balance the curriculum, friends, and sports for 9 months straight. It takes a very committed person to play sports at this extreme measure, and I wanted to acknowledge some of the athletes who push every day to be an excellent student and teammate for C. Milton Wright. I had the privilege of interviewing some of my classmates that contribute to this impressive group of people. I wanted to get a glimpse into the lives of kids who work extra hard every day, and what that looks like for them. 

If you have ever considered playing sports year-round, it is important to understand what it really means before you sign up, and I hope this article helps those who are on the edge for next school year. These athletes have lived it every day and were willing to give their advice and view on the subject. Whether this inspires you, motivates you, or helps you decide, it is important to appreciate these students, and what they have given. 

Brody Hichkad 

Brody is a sophomore at C. Milton, who played two sports his freshman year (volleyball and basketball), and three this current year (Volleyball, basketball, track). He is an outstanding athlete, playing varsity Basketball and Volleyball. During the interview, we got into the topic of all 5 of his different sport seasons, and how he felt about each one. Brody ended up telling me that his favorite AND least favorite season was the same. Brody explained that he loved his 2023-2024 winter basketball season because of how talented the team was and how much support they got from the school.  

“It was just such a memorable season” he told me. But when I asked Brody about his least favorite season, he explained that even though the season was unforgettable, the pressure, stress, and time required for that winter basketball period was overwhelming. Highschool sports are always going to have highs and lows, and Brody’s example really highlighted that. A successful season takes a lot of hard work, that can be difficult to maintain during the toughest time of the school year. To get a look into the highs of Brody’s time spent, I asked if there was ever a time that high school sports didn’t meet his expectations. Without hesitation, he told me, 

 “No actually, I honestly have had a great experience every season. The bonds I’ve made with my teams have exceeded my expectations, and I didn’t think I would be so impressed with the talent on each team.” I wanted to talk to Brody about his academic experience, and how high school sports have affected his grades. Brody has always been enrolled in the hardest classes available and has excelled in each. He responded with, “It hasn’t affected me much at all; my grades are actually better than they were last year playing two sports. It’s not that hard for me to manage sports and work.” Right after that I asked how his social health has been affected, and I got another positive response.  

“It honestly has helped; it has expanded the people I know and helped grow relationships. And the support of people at my games that I don’t know still recognize and like me for being good.” These hopeful successes in Brody’s life due to sports make it all worth it, but it is still important to acknowledge what the cost was. Mentally, Brody told me he found himself exhausted a lot, and wished he knew before going in how hard it would be.  

“I didn’t realize how physically straining it was, and how sore I would be constantly.” School sports affect an athlete every day, and when Brody mentioned how it affects his daily routine, it made a lot of sense. He said that you have a lot less free time, and that sports were like a job for him. It is an exhausting commitment, but when I asked if Brody would do anything differently if he got the chance, he proudly told me,  

“Probably not because even though it’s put a lot of strain and stress on me, I enjoyed every minute and if I could go back to the start of the year, I would do the same thing all over again.” 

Cameron Wheeler 

Cameron Wheeler is a sophomore at C. Milton Wright, that dedicated his two years so far to the football, basketball, and baseball team. Through Cam’s interview, I got a greater look on the honesty of high school sports, and how complicated it can be. Cameron’s experience is motivating, and it takes a very specific person to commit to three seasons of sports, two years in a row. A cool aspect of high school sports is being able to earn a leading position to benefit your teammates and friends, as a team captain. Cameron Wheeler was captain of the freshman and sophomore players this past fall football season, making it his favorite season so far.  

“You get to prove that you can lead; that you can show your coaches what you have to offer” he told me. On the positive topic, I asked Cam what has exceeded his expectations so far. He responded with, “Definitely football, being able to lead something and being able to be part of something so big, and being able to be in the baseball program has been great too.” 

C. Milton’s sport program encourages and rewards good attitudes and grades, and during a hard season, you can learn a ton about the type of person you are. I wanted to ask Cam what this experience has taught him about himself- being a hardcore athlete- and he explained to me that, “I learned I have a lot of heart. It takes a lot to be on top of your grades, but you can really do something when you put your mind to it. It’s definitely not easy, especially with my size. Being skinny isn’t ideal but I’ve shown that heart over size is what matters.” For his social life, Cam said, “It’s boosted it a lot, it puts you around other schools and it creates a huge environment to talk to people and get close with teammates.”

 I noticed a common theme about the kids that I interviewed, they were all outgoing and friendly, qualities that make a great teammate. I decided to offer that idea up to them, and I asked them what characteristics a person needs to have if they want to play sports year-round. Cam told me three words, “Love, passion, and dedication.” I understood what he meant by these because he told me that mentally, sports have their ups and downs. He said, “When you don’t get what you want it really affects you, but it pushes you to try harder, and when you accomplish you feel really good about it.” When I have talked to other students around the school, one of the biggest contenders of why kids choose not to play sports is because of the idea of “not making the team.” Every sport requires a try-out system, to decide on the athletes that will make each team. Cameron explained to me the stress that arises from try-outs, and how it is hard to keep a positive outlook when there is so much talent that you must compete with. But he isn’t going to let it stop him, and for basketball next year, he said, “it’s going to be hard, but I have a dream and I’m going to go for it.” Cam talked to me about the importance of having support during the season, and his main source of that was his mom.  

“She pushes me on everything, my social life, staying out of trouble, school, everything that I need, she’s always been there” he said. “My friends too that come to every game, it’s nice to know you have people rooting for you.” Cameron Wheeler has been able to use sports as motivation and an outlet to prove himself as an athlete to coaches and his dad, which means the most to him. There’s a reason why so many students love school seasons, and Cam’s positive outcomes are active examples of that. For my final question, I asked if there is anything he would’ve done differently, in regards of choosing sports if he were able to go back in time. Cam told me, “No, because no matter what you can’t look back on the past and look at what you wanted to do. Let the passion guide you and if you didn’t do everything the first season, you have two more to succeed in.” 

Charlie Kitz 

 Charlie Kitz played baseball, basketball, soccer, and ran track over his two years at C. Milton Wright Highschool so far. During this past 2023/2024 basketball season, Charlie got injured and was not able to play for the rest of the season, where he really missed being on the court and playing with his teammates. But that didn’t stop him from staying active during the spring, and he switched sports from baseball to track, maintaining his status as a three-sport student athlete. 

“Without sports, I don’t know where I would be” Charlie told me. He said, “Sports bring me happiness, and that’s what makes my character, you know, myself.” On the topic of character, I asked Charlie what type of characteristics a person must have if they want to play three sports like he does. He answered with, “Dedication, and a strong mental state. You have to be able to handle everything that comes with being a student athlete. It’s not just managing school, you have to manage all aspects of your life, whether that is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.” Charlie told me his mom was a key aspect in helping him balance that weight. “My Mom has supported me unconditionally throughout every aspect of my life, she’s always been there to give me advice and I am grateful that.” Charlie added in about how coaches are an important influence when you are with them constantly. He wanted to highlight that C. Milton Wright sports program provided one of his favorite coaches that he won’t forget. “Coach Gunter from soccer was a great role model person to be around” he mentioned. 

Charlie is an excellent student and athlete, but playing sports year-round is extremely time consuming. I asked him what his thoughts were on playing three sports for the rest of high school, and he focused on the idea of college. He told me, “I’m thinking about future opportunities in clubs and honor societies, so I need to decide what I want to do based on the time that I have.” Student athletes have a very big responsibility to balance their day-to-day lives, but Charlie brought up a whole different idea that is important to acknowledge. You only have four years to build up credentials for colleges, and Charlie’s perspective made me realize that an athlete’s time for that is cut in half. Time isn’t the only heavy component of sports. Charlie told me that, “I was surprised on how much stress it puts on your body and your mind, because of how much time you put into each sport. Plus, school and any extra activities you want to do for yourself adds onto that.” When I asked Charlie about his daily routine with sports, he laughed when he brought up how much more sleep he needs now, and the adjustment that’s taken. To help manage his time, Charlie has made school his number one focus point. He’s shortened the time that he uses on sports outside of school and reminds himself that “there is no school sports without good grades.” To end, I asked Charlie the same question I asked the rest of the athletes that I interviewed: Is there anything that you would’ve done differently? Charlie responded with, “No, I don’t like to hold regrets on myself, and I am grateful that I decided to play all three seasons. Even though it has impacted my life negatively sometimes, I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives, and I am grateful for everything I’ve been through.” 


Are you considering trying out for sports out of your comfort zone? Here is advice from these awesome athletes! 

“Freshman year, it’s important to try as many sports as possible that you’re interested in, and then center on the ones you want to commit to. There is no stress to play, but also none to try out” – Brody Hichkad 

– Don’t listen to what anyone has to say. You are your own strong person, don’t waste time comparing yourself to any other person. Listen to yourself and your body, and let the passion drive you to succeed- Cameron Wheeler 

-It is what it is- Charlie Kitz 



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