By Gabby Delpleash

Junior Tristan Baker remains undecided over wanting to attend college for academics or athletics. Baker, a football player and AP student, plans to focus on school first before giving any consideration to playing collegiate sports.

Junior Tristan Baker balances athletics and academics to stay ahead in both fields

February 8, 2023

For junior Tristan Baker, just focusing on doing his best academically and athletically is the best way to prepare for college.

Baker is a varsity football player and would ideally continue playing sports in college. Currently, Baker is focusing on communicating with colleges, but is not looking at any specific ones. This is also a source of stress for him.

“I’m definitely worried about football and colleges reaching out to me or if I have to reach out to them,” Baker said. “Right now, I’m not looking at a ton of stuff because I didn’t get my name out there enough last summer. So my focus now is to try and get my name out there and see if I can get anything cool.”

To get his name out there, Baker prioritizes his athletics even during the offseason by continuing his training at TopSpeed Speed & Conditioning.

“This offseason, the football team has lifting [in the] morning every week, for four days a week and then I have my own training that I do at TopSpeed,” Baker said. “We do a lot of work on my speed and my power so I can be the best player I can possibly be and maybe get my name out there.”

By Julia Shumaker

But for Baker, preparing for college is not just about athletics. Baker believes that having good academics is also crucial for student athletes.

“[Staying ahead] academically helps a lot because, obviously, you stay eligible if you have high grades but at the same time, we’re not just athletes; we’re student athletes and the student always comes first,” Baker said. Athletically, it’s always important to prepare yourself. If you’re not the most prepared you can be for a game it makes it a lot harder to focus on what our role is and what we can do to be the best player we can for our team.”

Baker focuses on many aspects of academics, like GPA and grades, but is currently prioritizing studying for the ACT.

“So academically, my main focus is the ACT right now,” Baker said. “If I can get a good score on my ACT that’ll help relate to scholarships. The more money I get paid for college, the better it’ll be for me in my future.”

His preparation academically and athletically must come together in a balance, though, to adequately prepare for college and stay ahead.

“The main balance is to make sure that I focus on getting my schoolwork done and then doing my football work after,” Baker said. “If I get my schoolwork done, it makes my life a whole lot easier to watch film or go out and practice.”

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