North Atlanta’s Two-Sport Athletes Balance Year-Round Sports with Rigorous Athletics

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North Atlanta’s Two-Sport Athletes Balance Year-Round Sports with Rigorous Athletics

Double the Power: Junior Wiley Hartley plays both football and baseball and has to learn to train both mind and body.

Double the Power: Junior Wiley Hartley plays both football and baseball and has to learn to train both mind and body.

Nicole Spektor

Double the Power: Junior Wiley Hartley plays both football and baseball and has to learn to train both mind and body.

Nicole Spektor

Nicole Spektor

Double the Power: Junior Wiley Hartley plays both football and baseball and has to learn to train both mind and body.

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It’s hard enough being a student athlete in today’s climate of rigorous classes, even for the most simple courses. You have to balance early morning or after-school practice with being a competent student in the classroom, all while being caught up on your homework and home life. For most student athletes, you play a sport either in the fall or spring, and the other semester is spent being a normal student, with some offseason workouts to stay locked in. However, there are some people at North Atlanta who double down on athletics and play a sport in both seasons.

Balancing athletics with academics year-round can be extremely difficult. However, some Warriors have found a routine that works for them. “I just try to stay organized throughout the week and not let anything start to overwhelm me,” said junior Wiley Hartley, a leader of the Warriors football team in the fall and a standout pitcher for the baseball team in the spring. “Once you get used to a routine, it makes it so much easier to balance everything,” Hartley said.

Each sport is very unique in its rules, mechanics and skills needed to succeed. However, some people have talents and abilities that translate well across multiple sports and help make them a better player in each. For example, Hartley uses his strong arm to toss touchdowns during football season and throw strikes from the pitcher’s mound when baseball’s in season. Another example of this is junior Davis Bell, who plays for both the football team and the baseball team. Bell is a linebacker in the fall and a first baseman in the spring. He uses his raw strength to hit both ballcarriers and baseballs with all his might. “Balancing two sports with academics can be really difficult at times, especially with IB in the way. But I’m lucky to play for coaches who understand and are committed to helping me succeed regardless,” Bell said.

Fellow junior Wesley Horton takes it a step further with football, track and field, and wrestling on his plate. “It’s actually not that hard to train with three sports because I’ll always have either workouts for football in the morning or a weight training period during school. When it comes to academics my main thing is to get as much done in class so I don’t have to worry about it when I get home from whatever practice I have,” he said.

So while on the outside looking in, it can seem really hard to balance all of these things successfully, it looks like all you really need is a routine and a work ethic to make it. These Warrior athletes — and many others — richly prove this point.

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