CHS athletes struggle to level the playing field


Students at CHS struggle to balance schoolwork and sports causing some to quit their sports.

Stella Feinstein

Balancing coursework and home life is a difficult thing to do, especially at an academically rigorous school like Communications High School. When extracurricular activities are thrown into the mix, the word ‘sleep’ becomes a foreign one.

As COVID-19 restrictions have faded, students have seen their schedules skyrocket in density, with sports being a major time consumer.

Freshman Cate Stanziola of Ocean Township explains that the pandemic helped her realize what she really wanted to pursue.

“Having that two year period of COVID [and] not having sports because of it, I realized I was a much happier person,” Stanziola said.

The pandemic isn’t the only thing causing students to leave their sports. Exams and college pressure add stress to everyday life — experiences that junior Lucy Battista of Tinton Falls faces every day. Battista, a former soccer player, states that her schedule is simply too full to accommodate a sport.

“I’ve been playing since I was two,” Battista said. “I’m so incredibly busy. I have work, I have drama club three days a week after school, I have SGA…I have junior year in general…I just would not be able to fit it into my schedule.”

For many athletes, the decision to stop playing a sport they have participated in since childhood was not an easy one. The role they played in their lives is one that is difficult to give up, even when the outcome will be of more benefit to them.

Although these students choose to quit their sports, they understand the effect sports had on their higher education. Senior James Finnegan of Brielle explained that although he no longer plays lacrosse, due to risk factors and added stress, it looked good on his college application.

“It certainly helped me get into college because I played for three years and I played varsity for two,” Finnegan said.

These students have not only seen sports’ effects on their higher education but their day-to-day mood and lifestyle.

“I think leaving and being able to do it on my own time and deciding who I want to play with and when I want to play has definitely made me feel happier and actually enjoy playing the game more,” says Molly Deming of Red Bank.

For overcommitted students, balancing all the activities they want to do is tough; oftentimes they find they may have to stop doing some of their favorite activities to benefit their mental health. Finnegan explains that the right path has a way of making itself known, even if it comes with disadvantages.

“I don’t talk to the guys as much, it’s tough because it’s something that I miss doing,” Finnegan said. “But I found other things that I like doing. You trade it out.”