Sports teams in the New England prep school league traditionally travel to neighboring schools on Wednesdays and Saturdays to compete in athletic events. While Saturdays seem to be committed solely to sports, students are required to strike a balance between their workload and their sports commitments on Wednesdays.
When a Deerfield team’s Wednesday away game is hosted at Brunswick or Exeter, for example, students leave directly after classes and may not arrive back to campus until near the end of study hall.
Students often have just 30 minutes after classes to eat lunch, change and get on the bus. With an already rigorous academic schedule, some students begin to feel overwhelmed with balancing their responsibilities. While the game itself already has a designated time slot, the distance to travel on the bus, sometimes up to six hours, seems to take up every moment of that student’s opportunity to manage homework and sleep as well.
Serena Ainslie ’16, the number-one seed on the Girls Varsity Tennis team, mentioned she finds it difficult to stay focused on work on the bus, and pointed out that “after games, I’m too tired to do homework.”
While some students may be traveling on Wednesdays, others may be hosting a home game, giving them upwards of three times as much extra time. Lucy Baldwin ’15, a member of the girls varsity lacrosse team, mentions the difficulty that other students assigned the same amount of work as she could “get more time to work on the assignment” if they remain on campus that day.
Another concern is the trouble certain athletes face changing their mindset from school to sports. Teddy Donnelly ’17, JV lacrosse player, said, “the hardest part about weekday games is transitioning into a sports mood and then back to school work after the game.”
While travelling abroad for games can pose challenges for Deerfield athletes, the experiences that accompanies these challenges are memorable. Boys varsity lacrosse member Philip Goss ’16 said that “having not applied to many schools, it’s a nice way to see other prep schools and compare them to Deerfield.”