November 2016

What does it take to be a student athlete?

headshot_1_brittany_jamison_2016 headshot_1_jonathan_robetson headshot_1_justin_shaw headshot_1_keisha_washington_2016 headshot_1_korey_hill headshot_1_shamia_lassiterOut of the hundreds of students enrolled at Saint Augustine’s University, many have chosen to commit to doing more than studying textbooks and writing papers.  Here at this university, there are a great number of student-athletes who spend their time divided between academics and athletics. They are given scholarships, where they are expected to maintain a specific grade point average and make great performances in their chosen sport.

While Saint Aug is known as one of the best athletic schools in CIAA, the student-athletes look at their athletic program in a variety of ways. Of course, student-athletes like to voice their opinion on how they feel their experience has been while playing college sports.

To find out what it is like to be a student-athlete, a few were asked questions about what they think about the athletic program here and what it has been like to play sports at Saint Aug.

When asked about his athletic experience, Justin Shaw, a junior on the football team stated that it has mimicked a see-saw

Q: What is your athletic experience here at Saint Aug like?

Shaw: [It has been an] up and down experience. You have good times and you have bad times with the seasons and going through multiple head (football) coaches here at the school.

However, some athletes find their training program beneficial and key to becoming a better athlete. Brittany Jamison, sophomore on the volleyball team, finds the volleyball training program to be one of her greatest experiences.

Q: What are the good things you have experienced?

Jamison: I’ve learned how to hit harder and we (as a team) learned a new blocking method. That has contributed to my stats this year so that I’ll have at least eight blocks every year.

Being a student-athlete requires more than just being the best at your sport and having good grades. Shakeisha Washington, a senior on the women’s basketball team, believes that it is more than just playing games.

Q: What do you like about being a student-athlete here?

Washington: You’re held to a higher standard so it makes me push myself to do better.

Of course, something good can always change for the better. Korey Hill, senior on the softball team, mentioned that support among the athletic teams could be improved.

Q: If you could change anything about athletic program here, what would it be?

Hill: I feel like we all should be a big happy family. I feel like the sports should support each other. I feel like they come because (other athletes) are required to come. I feel like they should want to support each other.

But Hill is not alone in his opinion of what could have been changed.

Jamison: It would be that all the sports teams are together. Like when we do events, everybody is together. It’s not like it’s all about one sport. It gets everybody together, whether your team is the best or not.

Former track and field athlete, Shamia Lassiter, had good experiences while running for the school from 2013 – 2016, but felt as though there was more needed.

Q: How would you rate the athletic program and why?

Lassiter: I would rate it a six because I felt like the athletes work hard but we didn’t get appreciated as we should.

Every year, athletes are recruited to become a part of the athletic program. Many freshman come into the school knowing about the success and achievements that their particular sport has made. A freshman on the track and field team, Johnathan Roberston, was impacted by their accomplishments.

Q: Why did you choose to play your sport here at Saint Aug?

Robertson: I chose to be here to (become) the best in the nation and be a part of the multiple national championships.

He also noticed that being a student-athlete in college comes with more challenges rather than just being a walk in the park.

Q: Is being a student athlete here at Saint Aug like how you expected it to be? Why or why not?

Robertson: No. I realized that I have to work harder here than in high school. But at the same time, if you work harder, you get something big out of it.

— Mylene Cannon