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CHRIS FOSTER

Hawkins' Juggling Act Is Tops

October 04, 1994|CHRIS FOSTER

Today on Scared Straight , the Sarah Hawkins Story.

Listen and learn. This is no way to be a student-athlete.

Hawkins, a senior at Newport Harbor, is a promising tennis player. But does she while away the hours thinking about that perfect serve? Nope. She wastes precious time on civics.

Yeah, she hits the books as hard as a lob. But is she reading "Towel Sweat: The Jimmy Connors Story"? Nope. Biology.

She's in the process of planning her future. The tour, right, just like Jennifer Capriati? Nope. College.

Continue on this path, kids, and you could end up educated, happy and fulfilled. Don't let this happen to you.

OK, so Hawkins doesn't exactly get high marks for athletic overkill. Her racket is more than keeping above that 2.0 line. Yet, while she may not be a tennis bum, she's not a bookworm either.

There are better players. There are better students. But jugglers? It's doubtful anyone does that ginzu-knife-thing any better.

Hawkins' 3.4 grade-point average isn't going to make her valedictorian. But it will get her into college.

Her backhand isn't going to serve her up strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. But it will get her ranked among the top 20 in Southern California in her age group.

Basically, her life track isn't out of whack.

It's a delicate balance, which she handles. Heck, she even tosses in a spot on the ASB council and a position on the school newspaper and still doesn't lose her academic equilibrium.

Her secret?

"I go home and study until I've done everything I need to do," Hawkins said.

Hmmm, hard work. We may be on to something here.

"I learned how to manage my time," Hawkins said. "And I use flash cards for everything. I have drawers full of flash cards. It's the secret to my success. Basically, I'm the type of student who studies hard and gets Bs."

Yeah, but at what expense? There are sacrifices, you know.

Ask Hawkins what's new on TV, or even what's old, and she shrugs. Channel surfing isn't her sport.

"Everyone is always talking about these shows that I know nothing about," Hawkins said. "I can't tell you what's happening on 'Melrose Place' or 'Beverly Hills 90210.' "

Not missing a thing, kid. Well, Shannen Doherty did leave the show. You see, Brenda . . .

"Well, I don't want it to sound like I lock my door the minute I get home and study," Hawkins said. "I talk on the phone, I go out and do things with my friends. Believe me, I have plenty of fun."

And, golly, tennis hasn't suffered?

Hawkins still spends two to three hours a day honing her skills, giving her that competitive edge.

She reached the round of 16 at Ojai in the girls' 18-year-old division last year. She was Sea View League singles champion as a sophomore and teamed with Mara Colaizzi to win the league doubles' title last season.

Tennis definitely fits into her future. It just doesn't dominate it.

"I hope to play in college, but that's in the back of my mind," Hawkins said. "I'm not looking at schools just for tennis, but I love the game."

Especially at Newport Harbor.

"Tennis can be such an individual sport," Hawkins said, "but in high school tennis, I can cheer for my teammates and shout, 'Go Newport,' instead of just sitting on the sidelines. It's fun. You get to be with your friends and goof around."

So let's see. She's a good student. She's a good tennis player. She has good fun.

Is that any way to be a good student-athlete?

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