With a full load of classes followed by baseball practice, the only time finance major Danny Souza has to do homework is on eight-hour long bus rides to games on the weekends and late nights at home.
“Multi-tasking is definitely one of my strengths,” Souza said. “I have always had ‘big league dreams’ and in order to make those dreams come true I know I have to work as hard as I can each day.”
Souza is one of 38 SF State student athletes who was honored by the California Collegiate Athletic Association for finding a balance between schoolwork and their sport. This makes them a part of the CCAA All-Academic team, which recognizes athletes for playing a collegiate sport and carrying a minimum 3.4 GPA.
This is Souza’s second consecutive year on the All-Academic team.
“I’m proud of that accomplishment for the 38 athletes,” said interim Athletic Director Bill Nepfel. “It indicates that our coaches are recruiting strong students and illustrates they are doing a great job balancing academics, athletics and personal life.”
Thirteen Gator athletes have been honored multiple times to the All-Academic team, headlined by graduated senior and four-time honoree Cara Spence, the first baseman for the softball team and a microbiology major.
The women’s soccer team received the most of any single sport at SF State with 12 awards.
“We emphasize that the players are ‘student athletes’ and to apply the same competitive spirit to academics as in the games,” said Jack Hyde, the women’s soccer coach.
Hyde said it takes dedication and that is what being a student athlete is all about.
Soccer player Lauren Hayano said it’s difficult managing soccer and school.
“You want to focus all your time and energy on soccer during season,” the sociology major said. “But you have to also set aside a decent amount of time to schoolwork as well. I really had to learn the importance of time management this year.”
Self-discipline and time management is only half the battle for these student athletes, what the real struggle is learning priorities.
“Even though soccer is so important to me and takes up a lot of my time, school is even more important to me,” said Chloe Harrington, soccer player and sociology major, who was named to the All-Academic team for the second consecutive year. “It is the same with my teammates. Our team is a determined group of high achievers and we work just as hard in the classroom as we do on the field.”