Student Athletes, Part 3- May 2016May 15, 2016
The Balancing Act of Academics and Athletics
by Chelsea Hess-Moore, Photography by Kelly Ann Shuler
Aaron Seigle, Football
Susquehanna Township High School to Villanova University
Key club, National Honor Society, robotics club, shot put and discus thrower, concert band, former wrestler, former marching-band member, former Frisbee-club member and aspiring engineer – this list of activities isn’t one you typically expect from a soon-to-be Division 1-AA football player. That’s what makes Aaron Seigle, senior football player from Susquehanna Township High School, so unique, so different and a teen who strives to embody the “student” aspect of the student-athlete role that he plays in more ways than one.
Clearly, Seigle is heavily involved both in academics and extracurricular activities. As for football, despite his Division 1 talent-level, it is a newer aspect of his life.
“I started playing back in eighth grade,” says Seigle. “I always wanted to play in elementary school but never got around to it. When I got to high school, I played offensive tackle and defensive tackle, which I played all four years. I started both ways. I have been starting for varsity since 10th grade, and it’s been a blast.”
Seigle has accepted a scholarship and position on the football team at Villanova University. He made his decision based on a few visits to the campus and a deep evaluation of the academic program in which he is interested.
“I had heard good things about the school, and I was looking for a school with a good balance of athletics and academics,” explains Seigle. “I really didn’t care much if it was big-time football or smaller football. And it was also about just being comfortable there.”
Although football doesn’t take precedence over Seigle’s education, he sees the similarities between striving to be the best at the two and how football plays a part in his ability to work hard in the classroom.
“Keeping up with your teammates is the same as keeping up with your classmates,” he says. “Studying habits are the same as making sure you’re in shape all the time, especially off season. Personally, when I am drilling myself with football skills or at practice, it’s the same thing as drilling to memorize formulas for a test.”
At Villanova, Seigle plans to study engineering with a minor in business. Currently, to fulfill his love of engineering, he enjoys STEM-related activities and studies, such as his participation in robotics club, two AP math classes and an AP Physics II class. Although he is thankful that he is “using football as a tool to get an education,” he was able to make his decision to attend Villanova based on the engineering program, which he says is one of the best around.
For Seigle, it’s clear that education is key and his No. 1 priority as he prepares to move onto the next level of his educational journey.
“I think it’s really important to be a student first, that’s why it comes first in the name,” says Seigle. “It’s important that you have a balance because there are skills that come with it. There is time-management, making a schedule and following through with your commitments. It’s really tough. I try to do a good job with that, and I am definitely trying to prepare for an even harder work load that is coming with going to Villanova.”
This article appears in the May 2016 issue of Harrisburg Magazine