Class of 2017 represents GNA at the college level

Nate Kreitzer, Student Writer

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There have been many great student-athletes to attend Greater Nanticoke Area, and a lot of them have taken their talent to the next level. Last years graduating class was no exception. The Class of 2017 had many outstanding individuals who stood out in the classroom and on the field. The GNA Insider caught up with Luke Butcynski, Justin Casey, Jenna Lipowski and Jacob Shatley to ask them about their college experience so far.


The first student-athlete is Luke Butczynski. Luke plays basketball at Misericordia University.

How hard is it to gain chemistry with your new teammates?

“It is very hard to gain chemistry with your new teammates. You don’t know them very well from the start, you have to learn what they’re good at and what they aren’t good at. That takes some time. The more you bond with your teammates the easier it is to gain chemistry with them.”

For those planning on playing a sport in college, is it hard to balance academics and athletics?

“It can be very hard to balance academics and athletics if you aren’t dedicated to both. Whenever you have free time, finish your work. Don’t put it off to the next day because you may not have time for awhile. Stay dedicated to both and you’ll be fine.”


We then sat down with Ursinus College football player, Justin Casey. 

How different is the atmosphere in college?

“College atmosphere is different because when you’re in high school you have a lot more time to do whatever you want to with your friends. In college, you’re busy all the time because you’re forced to do the homework or you won’t learn in your classes.”

What is it like to play a sport in college compared to high school?

“College sports are so much more serious. During team camp we had workday where we’d be up at 7:30 and we wouldn’t be done with our lift, practice, and film until 9:30 at night. Now we just have film for an hour before practice then practice for 2 hours and team study halls for another hour.”


Next we interviewed Kutztown University softball player Jenna Lipowski.

What is it like to play a sport in college compared to high school?

“In college you are non-stop on the go compared to high school sports. You have to balance workouts and school through out the whole day. For me I have to go to conditioning before classes, go to class, and in between my classes, I go to lifting, finish all of my classes, and then go to my team practice. After practice, I have a mandatory study hall and I’m not back in the dorm until 9 at night. In college, you have to be dedicated and be ready for every challenge you face. You won’t find a lot of free time like in high school where you go to school all day, go to practice or games, and then you go home. High school teams and college teams are similar by the bond you create and the memories you make with your teammates. It may seem like a lot, and be stressful, but it will be a great opportunity to experience.”

For those planning on playing a sport in college, is it hard to balance academics and athletics?

“If you plan on playing sports in college I say go for it. You will bond with so many people and make new friends and create memories that last forever. You will be with your team almost everyday of the week and they will be your new family. Playing a sport in college and keeping up with academics can be difficult but if you use your time wisely, go to class and don’t take naps every time you have the opportunity. It’s a pretty awesome experience and you mature as you move forward. Everyone says that high school is the time of your life – they are not wrong, but college is also a great experience. Even though I have only been here for 4 weeks, I can tell you I am having the time of my life. I’m going to classes, going to multiple workouts everyday, studying and doing homework. You just have to know when the right time is to be serious and when to have fun.”


Our last student-athlete is Jacob Shatley, Kings College baseball.

How different is the atmosphere in college?

“College has a totally different atmosphere than high school. There’s a lot more responsibility that comes with it and you have to be involved with the school a lot more.”

For those planning on playing a sport in college, is it hard to balance academics and athletics?

“Balancing baseball with my academics is challenging sometimes especially when I have a lot of homework, but you just have to dedicate all of your free time to homework and studying to get it done in your free time. I learned that you can’t put off school work until the last minute because baseball takes up most of my time after classes so I have to use any free time during the day to get my work done. It’s mostly responsibility and time management.”