Worth the work

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beaufort County recently wrapped up its fall semester. The schools conducted final exams last week, which limited the athletics schedules for the week. Local student-athletes got back to work recently after taking care of business in the classroom.

Bright things are ahead. Washington’s swimming and wrestling teams are in good position to make an impact on the statewide level. With regionals around the corner, the Pam Pack boys swimmers are well on their way to defend their 1-A/2-A state championship. The wrestlers will host the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship this week before looking ahead to finally, as a team, getting over the hump at regionals.

There’s a bit of buzz around the Pam Pack’s boys’ basketball team, too. It won its first league game of the season, 82-70, over a good North Pitt team on Tuesday. It was the team’s best offensive performance of the season, giving the team hope to climb out of last place when it meets top teams in Farmville Central and Beddingfield in the next week.

There’s optimism for other struggling teams like Southside’s boys and Northside’s girls. Last week’s limited schedule allowed those teams a chance to step back and evaluate things, as well as spend plenty of time on the practice court.

The effort they’ve put into athletics has been on the forefront now that they’re in the homestretch of the winter season. What isn’t as front and center is the dedication many of them have shown in the classroom. It’s important because the “student” part of “student-athlete” is, without a doubt, the bigger component.

A lot of the county’s top athletes have aspirations beyond high school. From Edrice “Bam” Adebyao at Kentucky to Jimmy Williams and John Whitley at East Carolina, the area has a handful of athletes playing at the collegiate level. Getting to that point requires not just talent, but the academic success, too.

A new semester has arrived, so be sure to remember that the work done in the classroom is just as, if not more, important than anything that happens in a game.