By: Warren Berenis ’15
“Academics before athletics”. This motto is what Coach McCabe has drilled in us all since we arrived in Lexington as freshmen. Being in the middle of the season, lacrosse has become a part of our lives. It is an everyday routine that we all look forward to. It is often hard to focus our full attention on academics when we have two games a week because of how much effort we all put into the playing field every day. But this is finals week. This is the week that movies and commercials portray as a horror week for college students. Being in the middle of a grueling season augments the strain and pressure of exams for all of us, so surviving exam week has a whole different sense of accomplishment for all of us. Not all of us are neuroscientists like senior captain Jack Reuter.
While exam week is extremely daunting, playing lacrosse at Washington and Lee has prepared us for exactly this type of situation. We put in countless hours of work in the offseason to get to the point we are right now in the season, and this hard work translates to the classroom. You will be far-fetched to find a lacrosse player at W&L who only sits in his room every day after practice not focusing on school work. We have trained ourselves to get ahead in the classroom because of how little time we have off the field to study compared to our non-athlete colleagues. Getting ahead in school is a way of life for us, and it really pays dividends come exam time. I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that we wanted to attend W&L because of its excellent academic tradition and rigorous academics. Being able to balance both lacrosse and school work can seem impossible at times, but the types of players that Coach McCabe recruits every year are the ones who take on challenges and tackle them head-first.
Don’t get me wrong. I would do pretty much anything to get out of exam week, but I do think that we are prepared for the pressure that exams entail. We are put under a ton of pressure every day to play our best on the lacrosse field and to excel in the classroom. We all thrive under pressure, so bring on those final exams, professors. This 2014 Generals lacrosse team is on a five-game win streak, and finals won’t slow us down. While it is a nice five-day break from the grueling season, our minds will not be unfocused on our next opponent. Randolph College might think they will be playing a worn-down Generals lacrosse team, but they will be in for a surprise if they take us lightly. We put in the work all year, and we sure in hell won’t let finals dictate our play on the field.