It is hard to find a student-athlete who competes in two sports and still manages to obtain superior academics. At Seton Hill University (SHU), there are two student-athletes that compete in the Griffin’s soccer and track teams: Dymphena Clark, from North Huntingdon, Pa. and Harry Jawanda, of Toronto, Ont., Canada.
Both sophomore dual-sport athletes are paving a path for future Griffins who question if this scenario is even possible. It is hard enough to be a student-athlete, yet alone be a student-double-athlete, who balances academics and athletics as well as any other extra curricular activities, but Clark and Jawanda are capable of doing so. With the fall semester consisting of soccer and the spring semester including track, there is hardly ever a break for these Griffins. Let us not forget about the stellar 3.8 GPA from Clark and 3.3 GPA from Jawanda.
“Balancing out two sports was really hard at first, especially since I am a commuter and have a lot of class work. But, after the first year, it became a little easier because I now know
Likewise, Jawanda, a forensic science major at SHU, said, “It’s all about time management. I really have to schedule my days accordingly in advance and this leaves me with no spare time. At this stage, it has become a routine for me, but there are days when my body feels completely burned out.”
Clark, a goalie of the Griffins soccer team and thrower for track, truly enjoys each of the two sports, but since she has been playing soccer for 16 years and 10 as goalie, she gives this sport the edge.
“When I play soccer everything is just a natural reaction, which is less stressful than being a thrower sometimes because track is a technical sport, which becomes frustrating at times,” saidClark, when asked which sport she prefers.
Similarly, Jawanda is passionate about both sports too, but believes that track compliments soccer in the fitness category, which helped form the decision to run track in the first place after head coach, Dan McCarty, recommended it.
“Since track season is ran during the off-season of soccer, the practice times of these two sports did not conflict that much. Since running the 400m for the track team, I also have seen significant gains in my acceleration and stamina, which have impacted my soccer greatly and improved my confidence,” said Jawanda, defenseman in soccer and a mid-distance runner in men’s track.
If there were a checklist of what it truly means to be a Griffin at SHU, get your pen ready for it just might be safe to say that Clark and Jawanda have almost every box checked off. Both sophomores show maturity and motivation towards their priorities and truly resemble role models for upcoming Griffins.
“I believe it is working hard even when the going is tough and you think that you have hit your wall. This is when you find the strength to be able to overcome all the obstacles and persevere,” said Clark when asked what it meant to be a Griffin.
On the other hand, Jawanda said, “I believe to be a product of SHU. In this sense, I am the product of SHU’s educational process and sports programs; learning, education, enlightenment, and personal development are the primary objectives of a Griffin.”
Not to mention, Clark also handles sports photography and contributes her time considerably when one is in need of an action shot during a game. Being familiar with the camera is just another skill that reflects Clark’s character and ambition for the future.
“After I graduate, I plan on pursuing a MBA in management from Seton Hill, and then would really like to continue to improve and expand my sports photography business,” said Clark.
The dreams of being successful are indeed in both scholars; for Jawanda it is to one day become a professional athlete and make his family proud. Since Jawanda decided to leave his home country of Canada to come to the US, the sacrifice has been challenging,
“I chose this career pathway because of what and where my family has come from. My father was also an athlete when he was younger but was never able to accomplish his dreams because no opportunities were provided and a career in sports was not accepted in his day and age. So I use this as what thrives me and motivates me daily,” said Jawanda.
With both student-athletes entering their junior year in the fall the thought of growing not only as a student-athlete, but as a person, is vital. These proud Griffins are molding into the individuals they plan to one day view in the mirror, and by having love in all that one does is a major step into realizing their potential. Clark and Jawanda are set to compete in their next track event today, as for soccer that will have to wait until the fall.