More than brawn; not just brains


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“My whole life is baseball, I am always on the field or working towards my success,” Ford said. Working hard on the field and in the classroom made Ford a desirable individual for colleges, as seen on his school transcript and his record.

Lainey Devlin and Dehlin Lee

Students underestimate the dedication of their peers walking in the halls around them. With a commitment to both sports and studies, student-athletes endure long days in their paths to success. Athletes experience morning practices, a whole school day, afternoon practices, and the same amount of homework as other students all without failure—a true balancing act.

Magnet sophomore Harry Ford, one of many dedicated student-athletes hoping for to make a career of sports, plays catcher on NC’s varsity baseball team while also maintaining a 4.4 weighted GPA in the International Studies Magnet program. Time management, Ford’s key to success, remains a vital part of Ford’s daily routine.

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“Uncommitted 2021 Harry Ford is a good looking 5’10 compact young backstop. This young 2021 looks like he can become a strong catch-and-throw prospect in a couple [of] years.” PBR Georgia said.
“I would say time management is the most important thing. There are a lot of parts to my life I need to keep up with, and time management helps a lot,” Ford said.

While he learned to manage the different areas of his life, some times proved harder than others. With a game in the evening and a test the next day, he endures late nights and long mornings, but when Ford receives an “A,” the lack of sleep becomes worth it. He, like many student-athletes, learned to make sacrifices in order to reach his goals.

“Sometimes I don’t get to finish all my homework because [my life] is always baseball. I don’t think I’ve had time to study for a test since freshman year. [The social life] is hard, I don’t get to hang out with my friends because of practice or games. I miss out on a lot of parties and stuff,” Ford said.

While Ford adjusted to the hustle of a student athlete’s life, many other individuals still struggle.

“School and family first, baseball second. Always keep working no matter how hard it is,” Ford said.

Although difficult, student-athletes must keep working with high hopes for the future, often aiming towards scholarships.

“I want to get a scholarship to a D1 school, maybe Texas, Tennessee, Florida or Duke. I hope to either go straight to the MLB or right after college. There’s a baseball career in my future for sure,” Ford said.  

Another NC student-athlete who dedicates himself to his sport, sophomore Cobe Singleton works alongside Ford, playing JV basketball, JV football, and track. Singleton, although not in the Magnet program, works equally as hard when balancing his school, sport, and family life.

The aspiring student-athlete, a transfer student from KMHS who plays three sports for NC, manages to balance Honors classes and a 3.4 GPA. He says school always comes first and does his best to stay on top of his grades.

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“Playing sports is a huge part of my life, and I love growing in the sport as a player and a person, I hope I can keep playing through college and maybe even continue to play out of college,” Singleton said. Singleton works hard in the classroom and on the field, noting that his grades reflect the type of a player he strives to be.

“Managing school, sports, and a social life can get tough, but I always know my priorities and know to get my school work done before anything. I always make time for the things I want,” Singleton said.  

Singleton bonds over sports with his siblings and parents; the family of seven get closer each day and they all love to spend time together. Singleton, the younger brother of NC’s running back and senior Christian Singleton loves spending time with his brother on the football field and looks up to him as a player and person.

“I love getting to play on the field with Christian. We become very close during the football season, and I am excited to play with my younger brother [Malachi Singleton] next year. I love getting to play with my brothers, we get to grow together in the sport and makes us closer than we already are,” Singleton said.

As a student-athlete, time management plays an important role in balancing school, sports, and social life; and for most athletes, they each play their sport outside of NC’s teams as well. Singleton also plays on an Amateur Athletic Union [AAU] basketball team, playing for the B.Maze Elite under head coach Brett Patterson.

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Singleton’s mom always makes sure he stays on top of his grades and that homework takes precedence before he steps foot on the field, court, or track. “My mom is everything to me, she is my biggest supporter and I could not thank her enough for pushing me to be the best I can be and being a great role model to my brothers, sister, and I. She means a lot to me,” Singleton said.

“Playing AAU outside of school has taught me a lot, but time management is one of the biggest lessons. Sports keep me busy and I love playing the game, hopefully playing in the league will get me to college,” Singleton said.

Playing a sport and focusing on getting good grades takes up much of someone’s time, but for student-athletes, the love for the sport they play makes it all worth it. Singleton and Ford represent two of NC’s many student-athletes, and balancing the time between school and their sports comes with lessons and memories each will never forget.