Ball is Life, and Class is Too

There are over one hundred student athletes that use their athletic talents to help pursue an education here at school. Whether the sport is track and field, basketball, football, volleyball, cheerleading, cross country, baseball, or softball here at N.C. A&T, we have a wide range of sports with some very hardworking student athletes both inside the classroom and out.

A glimpse is often needed to understand and appreciate what it is they do when compared to the typical college student. The A&T Register spoke with redshirt freshman wide receiver Caleb Gabriel and discussed the average day in the life of a student athlete, in this case a football player.

Imagine waking up before 5:30 almost every morning to make a mandatory team weightlifting session. Following that hour (or sometimes hour and a half) of strength training, team members must report to a 6:30 meetings with their fellow teammates and coaches.

During the meetings the team is briefed on the general schedule for the week, and prepare for the next matchup. Depending on what time the meeting is over, some guys go to the café while others go back to their residence halls or apartments to catch up on some much needed rest, and prepare for the day ahead.

After finishing class roughly around noon, most members of the team have a quick meal then fulfill some of the required NCAA study hall hours for each week. In the case of the football team, after knocking out some of the study hall hours, practice starts promptly at four.

In order to get taped up, receive physical therapy, and change into the necessary gear in time for practice , this actually means they must arrive at the field around three-thirty. Depending on how intense the practice was, some take ice baths or receive massages which can go anywhere from half past six to half past seven.

Once practice and the necessary recovery routines have been completed, most players again refuel by getting a meal whether it’s (time permitting) in the cafe, the Aggie Dome, or at a different establishment.

To end the day, the athletes again assume their roles as students, and do homework, study and prepare for the next day.

Some people may ask if being up from 5:30am to 12 midnight is really worth it, but Gabriel assures, “the best part about being a student athlete is being apart of the the team, something bigger than just one person.” He added, “We also love the fans, and appreciate their support too.”

The Aggies will take on Hampton University on the Oct. 2nd, and the Spartans of Norfolk State on the 9th, both games are away. Following the stint in Virginia, the Aggies will then play Bethune-Cookman University on Oct. 17th.

Hunter Watson – Sports Reporter

—Email Hunter at hawatson and follow her on Twitter @ theatregister