A segway to more opportunities


Myroslava Goodpastor

Pleasant Valley students sign to continue their athletic career at college at PV’s fall signing day.

Ike Swanson, Business Manager

Sports are viewed to most people as just a game played for entertainment. But for some people, sports are an opportunity for much more, and in some cases, a chance to turn their lives around. 

This was especially true for Cuban baseball player Iván Prieto González, who recently represented the Cuban national team in the World Baseball Classic. González didn’t join his team on their flight back to Cuba and defected from his home country. 

González is one of a few players who have recently defected from Cuba in order to both pursue their athletic endeavors and to get away from the Cuban government. Players are forced to defect to keep their baseball hopes alive because there is currently no agreement between the US and Cuba allowing Cuban players to come over and play in the MLB.

Though this is an extreme example of opportunities that are created through sports for athletes, there are many more ways that sports can benefit the athlete. For junior student Caden Ervin, his sport helps him work well in the classroom. “I would say that sports are definitely a factor of the effort I put into my school work because I want to stay eligible for the sports I play,” he said.

This is true for many athletes who struggle with their grades. The sport they play is an incentive to work hard and do well in school and it allows athletes to have that extra motivation they need to give their best effort. 

For some of these athletes, the sport will open up opportunities for higher education. “The lightweight rowing team fully supported my application but there was also zero academic leniency as an athlete,” said senior rower Nikhil Ramaraju. 

Ramaraju plans on attending Harvard next fall with an opportunity to receive an education and simultaneously compete in a division one sport. “It’s given me an opportunity to compete at the highest level for rowing,” he said. “It’s pretty exciting to compete on a team with internationals from South Africa to Netherlands.”

Although there are no athletic scholarships for Ivy League schools, many Pleasant Valley athletes are receiving a scholarship to play at their college. “Scholarships will be a good way for me to save money for my future,” said Iowa State commit Jacob Mumey. With the raising cost of post secondary education, any help is greatly beneficial to the athlete. 

Sports are much more than just a game. It can create opportunities and reshape the lives of the athletes. Big or small, athletics aid the athlete in ways other activities could not.