Life after sports


Story by Cameron Murry, staff writer

He comes to a stop, hands on his knees, breathing heavily. He can’t hear the noise around him because of the beating of his own heart and blood rushing in his ears. He looks around at the red clay track that surrounds him, a place he has come to know as a second home over the past three years. Only one year left, he thinks. Then it’s off to college.

Not all high school athletes plan on continuing their athletic careers after graduation. Senior Austin Broussard is one of these athletes.

Broussard has been a member of the cross country and track team for three years.

“Track and cross country have somewhat consumed my life,” Broussard said. “I have run cross country and track since sophomore year.”

Participating in the sport has come with big sacrifices and effort on Broussard’s part.

“Staying in that top shape is hard to do,” Broussard said. “I don’t think I’ll be able to continue it in college, especially since I’ll be running as a backup or have to walk on if I am running.”

Leaving track comes with big changes for Broussard.

“I feel like I’m going to have a lot more free time [if I quit running],” Broussard said. “A lot more late nights to study and do other things besides running.”

An athletic history is beneficial for some students, though. Senior Paige Eaton, for example, will be able to use track as a good foundation for her future endeavors.

“I’ve been in track and cross country since sophomore year and I probably won’t continue [after graduation],” Eaton said. “I’m going to an academy where training will be part of my daily routine.”

Eaton’s athletic past will continue to influence her post-graduation.

“I won’t be doing sports,” Eaton said. “But working out will be easier.”

Athleticism in high school tends to benefit those who choose to discontinue their journey as well as those who continue. The choice to continue being an athlete impacts the lives of students, as well.

“I’ve been on the varsity football team since I was a junior,” Russell said. “I’ve signed with Trinity Valley Junior College in Athens, Texas [to play football].”

Texas High School’s athletic program has taught Russell valuable life lessons that he will carry with him to college and his career.

“The work ethic they’ve taught me here- waking up, coming to workouts, all that kind of stuff- will help me go on to the next level,” Russell said. “The work ethic, meeting people and trying to fit in with people will help me.”