By AINSLEY CARPENTER
While millions of high school athletes may view their college counterparts as incredibly talented, they are most likely overlooking the years of dedication, struggle, and sacrifice that went into their success. Recently, The Perennial heard from some new NCAA commits that are finishing up their senior years at Pinewood. Now, we will learn about the collegiate athletic experience from some that have already played a season or two: Rice University women’s soccer player Caleigh Page; University of California, San Diego women’s basketball player Brianna Claros; and Utah Valley University men’s basketball player Cache Fields, are members of the Pinewood School classes of 2017, 2018, and 2018, respectively.
All three of these Pinewood alumni highlighted the intense dedication that college athletics require: multiple practices daily, early morning workouts, and greatly shortened breaks all challenge these students by putting them under tremendous pressure.
“It’s not easy coming in every day and giving your all,” Fields said.
In addition, it makes finding time for homework, extracurriculars, and even plain old fun difficult.
“[Collegiate athletics] require a significant time commitment that takes some getting used to in order to figure out how to balance it with academics,” Page said.
However, this is something that her time at Pinewood prepared for.
“I wanted a school that was both academically and athletically challenging, and Pinewood helped me accomplish that,” Page continued.
Claros also attributes some of her success to her time as a Panther- more specifically to coach Doc Scheppler.
“Doc was always so specific about always being sharp and always being our best selves no matter who we’re playing, and this translates well to college basketball because if you aren’t always sharp people take advantage of it…I think Doc prepared me well for that,” Claros said.
The payoff from all this effort is definitely worth the cost.
Page fondly remembers her first time starting in a game and adds that she “was so excited to compete and
Another unexpected benefit of such an intense schedule is the tight bond it forges with fellow teammates. Claros goes so far as to call her relationship with her team the highlight of her college career thus far.
“The bond we have as a team is so unique. We’re all super close with another and just care for and love each other,” Claros said.