ASB President kicks off a new school year — and sport


Eric Benitez, Staff Writer

It isn’t unusual to see high school students take on countless extracurricular activities and sports, either for enjoyment or to add to their college application experiences. With such rigorous schedules and limited time, students aren’t always able to pursue activities they enjoy.

Senior Rajan Nathaniel is no exception, having been unable to play football in the past due to prior commitments.

“Playing football has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid,” Nathaniel said. “Ultimately I knew my leadership responsibilities came first.”

Nathaniel, who is also ASB president, will be the starting punter for the 2017-2018 football season, in spite of the various commitments he has in his role in Student Government.

As ASB president, Nathaniel has to attend district board meetings every month and report back to Student Government. Nathaniel also attends Foundation meetings once a month and is a voting member of the Bear Creek Instructional Leadership Team. These activities take up hours of Nathaniel’s time, which made him hesitant to play the sport this year.

Nathaniel has never played football for Bear Creek but plays on his own time; last year, he coached the junior powderpuff team.

Varsity football coach Reggie Camp was understanding of Nathaniel’s scheduling conflicts and was open to working with him so he could play on the team while still keeping his leadership responsibilities.

“We’re currently working around my schedule which is something I’ve never seen a sports coach do before,” Nathaniel said.

Camp regularly reminds his athletes that their education should always come first, even above sports.

“I’ve always been pretty accommodating,” Camp said. “I don’t try to limit anyone’s involvement in the program and Raj is the type of person who upholds his responsibilities.”

Generally, advisors and coaches expect students to prioritize their activity over everything else, forcing students to cut back on the number of extracurriculars they are able to participate in.

“I still do weights with them and train with them,” Nathaniel said. “If I have a board meeting, though, Coach understands that and he’ll let me miss practice.”

“We have an agreement,” Camp said, “Rajan gives us two days of practice per week, plus game days, and it works for us.”

In addition to attending assigned practice times, Nathaniel also puts in extra workouts if he feels that his performance is lacking. Despite the challenges ahead of him, Nathaniel says he is eager to be part of the team.

“I feel so blessed for this opportunity”, Nathaniel said. “I’ll do my best to make everyone proud.”