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Athletes strive to be the best

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Illustration by Eugene Chang

Illustration by Eugene Chang

Illustration by Eugene Chang

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Your face drips with sweat. The 90 degree heat is scorching your body under all the football gear. Your coach blows the whistle and yells, “see you ladies this afternoon.”

During hot, summer days, football players around the country are enduring grueling two-a-day practices. Why? Because you love the sport and aspire to play football at the next level. Those were the dreams you had as a young boy playing Pop Warner football.

Star athletes who play at an elite level, grow up playing sports at a very young age and will do anything to become the best at their craft. They don’t spend summers at science camps, they’re at football, baseball and basketball camps, breathing, eating and living the sport they love.

However, with so much focus on honing their skills, athletes don’t spend a lot of time on academics. Getting an education is important but when you spend your nights practicing instead of doing homework, an education falls by the waist side.

Numerous football and basketball players came to the University of North Carolina with academic histories that showed them incapable of doing college-level work, according to the The News & Observer website.

While top-level athletes like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Garnett can skip college and go straight to the NBA because they were confident in their ability to compete at the next level, athletes at the community college level are there to improve their skills and earn a shot to sign with a four-year university.

El Camino sophomore defensive lineman Austin Vaimili committed to Fresno State in December and will get a shot to continue his football career with the help of coaches like Director of Football Operations Jose Erickson.

Erickson said the work that is poured into being the best is undeniable. The workouts everyday, the diet and developing your skills while maintaing fundamentals is truly a grind.

“It’s knowing mentally what the schemes and plays are, on top of being productive in the classroom,” Erickson said. “You have to truly love this game to put yourself through the everyday lifestyle that this game and college demands.”

We can’t dismiss the notion that academics are important, however when was the last time 8,000 people showed up to see the debate team? The $40 million stadium being built on campus has a capacity of 8,000 and boast state-of-the-art facilities.

Furthermore high performing football and basketball teams bring millions in revenue annually to colleges and universities. Some university presidents may genuinely believe that these incremental revenues improve the financial situation of the school, according to the Forbes website.

Let’s be honest, sports make the world go round and football is the king. I would much rather play Madden then League of Legions.

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The student news site of El Camino College
Athletes strive to be the best