Soaking up the season, not the sun

Kelly Gavagan '23, Staff Writer

PITCHING PERFECTION Connor Stafford ’23 winds up to win the game with a casual curveball. (Amanda Frantz ’23)

Breaks are for students to relax and take a break from the pressure of school and activities they face, according to Chad Hepner, South teacher, and football coach. But is it fair for coaches to mandate practices and games over break?

“It’s easy for students to be so busy where their whole day is crammed with school and practice and homework that I think it’s good for them to take a step back,” Hepner said.

Hepner recognizes that many kids travel with their families over breaks, though explains how student-athletes missing games over break are detrimental to the team.

“If you’re a freshman or JV possibly I think it’s understandable to skip a game or practices over break to go on a trip, but if you’re at the varsity level and you miss the game, it doesn’t affect just you, but the whole team,” Hepner said.

Varsity wrestling, ice hockey, and swim have all had meets or games over midwinter break. This upcoming break, varsity baseball is competing too.

“Before the season, the baseball team’s league play started, and if you want to have a championship-caliber team, you have to work for it,” Hepner said.

The varsity baseball team is traveling to Florida over spring break to scrimmage against other schools and bond as teammates, according to coach Dan Griesbaum.

“This trip is primarily for team bonding and to prepare for our season while giving the team a fun experience,” Griesbaum said.

Ben Frakes ’23, an outfielder on the baseball team, is in favor of practicing over break.

“I think it’s exciting that we’re going to Florida, and I think it’s fair because I’m part of a team and everyone has to contribute,” Frakes said.

Educators such as Meagan Dunham, an English and drama teacher, argue that it’s hypocritical that coaches are allowed to mandate practices and games over break but teachers can’t assign homework, though Griesbaum and Hepner beg to differ.

“As a teacher, I’m okay with not having students do work over break,” Hepner said. “I think they need some time away, and to be honest as a teacher I probably won’t do much grading or work myself over break, so it would be a double standard for me to make them do work.”