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Roanoke places 84 student-athletes on ODAC All-American team

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Kathleen Fountain

Staff writer

Many students at Roanoke College enjoy attending the sporting events that occur on RC’s campus. Whether it is lacrosse, basketball, tennis, golf, or baseball, the high intensity and athleticism of the student athletes appeal to onlookers. But what many students don’t realize is how much work and effort goes in to being both a student and an athlete.

Last semester 84 of RC’s student athletes were named to the ODAC All- Academic Team.

An online article on the ODAC’s website stated “Eligibility for the ODAC All-Academic Team is open to any student-athlete that competes in a conference-sponsored sport, regardless of academic class.  He or she must achieve at least a 3.25 grade point average for the year to be considered for an ODAC All-Academic Award”.  

Missing classes due to a hectic traveling schedule is one of the bigger hindrances when it comes to being a student athlete. Players often get in very late after having completed their away games and still attend classes the following day. 

“Stress and lack of sleep are two big obstacles but the more I got used to this type of busy schedule the easier it was to handle”, said Carl Leist ’14, a member of the men’s soccer team.

 Candace Connolly ’13, of the women’s soccer team says time management and organizational skills are needed to be an effective student athlete.

 “It is also important to get enough sleep in order to make it through a long day of classes and then practice,” Connolly said. “Sleeping and eating well may sound simple but it is important to do in order to be healthy and at your best.”

 Another important aspect of being a student athlete is recognizing when to stay in and study instead of hanging out with friends. Lists and prioritizing are what helps Connolly.

 “Sports, down time, and social events are important but we’re ultimately in college to go to class and learn,” Connolly said.

 The goals of these athletes are universal with any other student on campus. Leist jokes that his mom would be especially pleased if he kept up his streak of a GPA over 3.0.

 Connolly says it is important for her to learn as much as possible from her classes and strives to make the Dean’s List again.

 Juggling both academic and athletics, especially with such high hopes –both player’s teams strive for the ODAC championship and NCAA tournament—is a consistent, yet rewarding struggle.

 I want to play my best and give 110% to contribute to the success of the team. The most rewarding thing about being an athlete is being part of a team. Being a part of a winning team is always a plus, but it’s the relationships and experiences with the team that are most rewarding for me; being a part of such a close knit group who work together to achieve a common goal,” Connolly said.

 “Getting good grades and performing well on the soccer field creates a huge sense of accomplishment that just makes all the hard work worth it,” Leist said.