Scholar Athletes

Nick Johnson, Staff Writer

The 2021-2022 school year awarded seven seniors the title of a Scholar-Athlete; William Baum, J’meeyah White, Jackson Downey, Kirsten Harvett, Josie Ashton, Bobby Burns, and Phoebe Merrigan. Each award recipient has balanced their rigorous academic course load with their impressive athletic careers. In addition, these are all students committed to improving themselves and maintaining their personal standards, making them role models to their peers and teammates.

A common theme among all seven students was a struggle to master time management skills. Downey, a star on the Boys Ski team, said, “figuring out time management skills was the most challenging aspect for me. Specifically for the winter season during skiing, it gets difficult to dedicate time to doing school work.” Procrastination was not much of an option for the students who had such little downtime. Baum said,

“The biggest thing that I learned was time management. Playing three sports made it very hard to procrastinate. I learned early on that it made everything much easier to get your work done ahead of time rather than at the last minute.”

— William Baum

Good advice for anyone, athlete or not. 

The learning curve that the athletes experienced developed as they got older and learned to cope with the amount of work they had to complete. Merrigan, a three-sport varsity captain, said, “expectations become greater as you get older. Learning the different types of work and the amount of time it takes to complete your work is definitely challenging. Once I learned how the quality of my work is affected by the amount of time I put into the assignments, I learned to schedule out my day with what works to complete in a timely manner.” 

Support from coaches and teachers was crucial to each scholar-athlete’s success throughout their time at MBS. Harvett, a three-sport varsity star, said, “I can genuinely say the teachers at MBS have been supportive. They understand the time commitment of being a three-sport athlete. Specifically, the teachers at MBS that also coach a sport understand the long hours spent and practice and games.” Burns said, “all of my teachers have been really understanding and helpful with managing my workload.” During times of “stress and doubt,” Burns says that his teachers have helped to guide him.

These students are all impressive examples of athleticism and academic dedication, and their status as scholar-athletes makes them valuable assets to the Morristown Beard community.