Student Spotlight: December


Shannon Flynn, Khadija Ashfaq

Staff Writer, Editor

Many students know the struggle of balancing their sports team with academics, but how about the struggle when your sports team plays across town?

kellyJunior Kelly Kurlya makes the balancing act work, playing for Notre Dame’s girls hockey team while still keeping up with her school work.

Since she is a junior, the workload is piled on along with the pressure of college coming up and high school coming to a close, but Kurlya can handle it all. Kurlya plays hockey along with only one other Foran student, sophomore Rebecca Paine.

Being the only two Foran players on that team, the two girls get along well, with Paine speaking very highly of her high achieving friend. Paine said, “Kelly is a great teammate on and off the ice, and a great friend.”

Paine added that Kurlya is a well-rounded person, saying, “She’s a great hockey player and a great student too.”

Kurlya began her life on the ice at a very young age of around four years old, and she says her friends along with her brother led her to play hockey about three years ago. She encourages any other Foran girls to join her and Paine, saying that even her coach, Kerri Rowland, agrees that anyone can play no matter if they have played previously or not.

Playing a sport out of town does bring up complications that Kurlya deals with every season. The lack of communication out of the rink becomes an issue for practice time changes and staying connected with her teammates.

Although team bonding seems difficult when the team is at another school, Kurlya says she meets tons of friends through hockey, and the majority of her friends go to Notre Dame. During game time, those girls play like any other team regardless of their difference in grade level or school, acting similar to Kurlya’s cross country team that she plays on in the fall at Foran.

Overall, Kurlya’s athletic ability shines through in both of her sports which was shown this year especially in her success during the cross country season. Her team, along with the boys team, took first place for Foran at the Platt Tech Invitational, and second at the Harry Geraghty Invitational.

For Kuryla, time management is key. When playing for a team that is across town it is bound to affect academics in some way, and on top of that, Kurlya has a job.

About the impact of sports on academics, Kuryla said, “It depends in how you manage your time. I’m personally still working on managing sports, work and homework.”

Besides playing hockey, Kuryla’s cross country in the fall also adds to the stress of junior year. Having time for all of these activities is definitely a challenge, but it is one challenge that Kuryla is surely conquering. Besides the two sports, one job, and homework, Kurlya also has to be mindful of the time it takes getting from one place to another since the hockey team she plays for is Notre Dame. Although it seems as though Kurlya would be squashed under the pressure of her many responsibilities and activities, she manages to handle it all while maintaining her upstanding character.