A Day in the Life of Student-Athlete Paige Bennard

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Ashley Eduardo Espinoza, Writer

The entire concept of being a student-athlete is not easy or simple. Having to balance schoolwork, sports, extracurriculars, and a social life is challenging, and it isn’t something all people in high school can achieve. Being a student-athlete requires a lot of focus, drive, and determination—three characteristics that Field Hockey player, Paige Bennard, possesses. 

Sports have been a part of Paige’s life and family since she was a child. Paige grew up playing non-contact sports such as swimming and tennis. Paige began playing field hockey, as a defender, in her sophomore year of high school. Prior to her sophomore year, she had never played field hockey.

Paige never planned on joining the field hockey team, but her school peers advised her to try out. “I only got on the team because one of the other girls basically forced me to come to practice one day,” revealed Paige. Before being a crucial player to the field hockey team, she was a member of the tennis team at Woodbridge until she left the team and decided to play tennis recreationally. 

This school year has not been like any school year before. The COVID pandemic has affected schools and sports across the nation, including Woodbridge High School and its sports teams. Luckily, sports were able to proceed this year under certain restrictions, but the restrictions proved to be tough on many student-athletes. “This year was especially difficult to deal with because of the pandemic restrictions, along with all my difficult classes and extracurriculars,” explained Paige. 

During field hockey season, Paige’s schedule is busy and chaotic. She begins her day at 7:30 am with her first-period class. Throughout the school day, Paige tries to finish most of her assignments during the school day, so she won’t have to complete any schoolwork after field hockey practice. Once the school day ends, Paige gets ready and drives to her two-hour practice. After practice is finished, Paige goes straight home to unwind, relax, and eat dinner. Following dinner, she will use her phone or watch a tv show before going to bed early. 

Regardless of all the setbacks and hardships of the pandemic, the girls’ field hockey team won their final district game against the Forest Park Bruins, 6-0. Paige reflects on her team’s massive win and expresses the bittersweet feeling that surrounds the victory. “The last district game definitely gave me mixed emotions. I was so sad that my favorite thing about school was ending, but I’m so lucky to have even got the opportunity to be a part of something so wonderful,” admits Paige. The girls’ field hockey team had a team record of 5-1-0 for the 2020-2021 school year. 

In addition to playing sports, Paige is also an active member of SALC and SCA. Even though she has a handful of responsibilities, Paige makes an effort to spend time with her family and friends. “It’s important to maintain balance when it comes to your social life because I don’t want to completely shut my loved ones out because of school or sports,” explained Paige.

Following graduation this year, Paige plans to attend Old Dominion University (ODU) in the fall of 2021, where she will study Psychology. She will not be on the field hockey team at ODU, she plans to play club field hockey. “Field hockey makes me a better, more happy person, so it’s something that I will try to continue to do as long as I can,” expresses Paige. Woodbridge High School will always be a part of Paige, just like she will always be a part of Woodbridge. Paige has made an impact on Woodbridge and has proven to be a well-rounded student, athlete, and leader that will be missed when she graduates this year.