Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk


Should the northern Harford County area have its own 'snow zone' for inclement weather days?

  • YES (92%, 60 Votes)
  • NO (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

Loading ... Loading ...

Student athletes discuss impacts of health challenges on sports

   According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. 

     Freshman Walter Scarborough was diagnosed with diabetes at age four.  Since then, he has had to ” manage my blood sugar constantly throughout the day and make sure that if it goes low, I have food on me to bring it up.”

     The ninth grader is also an athlete, and has been running since he was seven years old. At NH, he participates on the indoor and outdoor track and cross country teams.

     As an athlete,  Scarborough says his preparation before and post meets and races can look different from the rest of the team. “Sometimes, I have to skip a warm-up to make sure my blood sugar stays up. I have to eat snacks before I go running and I have to set my blood sugar up before big meets to make sure that it’s not in danger of going down. Sometimes I might have to sit out of a team speech to drink Gatorade and get my blood sugar up,” he explains.

    Softball player junior Ashley Schillaci was also diagnosed with diabetes when she was four years old. “There are two types of diabetes. The one I have is type 1. Type 1 diabetes is basically when your pancreas just stops making insulin, which your body needs to regulate blood sugar and not have over the amount of sugar you are supposed to have in your bloodstream.” Schillaci adds, “I don’t have to watch what I eat – I can eat anything. I got diagnosed when I was young, at four years old, and the way that we found out was the symptoms I had. I was always very thirsty and didn’t always want to eat.” This diagnosis “definitely” impacted Schillaci’s day to day life. She says she has “to take insulin every day and regulate my blood sugar. I didn’t really have to worry about doing that all by myself until I was older,” she says.

      Schillaci’s everyday life is not the only thing impacted by the diagnosis. As an athlete, she has to manage it on the field as well. “My athletic life is impacted to an extent. I have to see if I have to either eat something before the games or do whatever I am about to do before, or if I need to give myself insulin to get myself down. I am impacted by the way I can feel when my blood sugar is a certain level. If it is really high, I don’t perform to my full potential, and when I am low, I feel very lazy and can’t do anything,” Schillaci explains. 

     Preparation before playing softball is important for her to stay safe. “I need to make sure I have insulin and snacks and have everything in case something goes wrong,” she adds. Before the game and practice, preparation is important to maintain her health, but it doesn’t stop there. Post softball routines are equally as important.    “Post things I do have to worry about something because I could have a later effect of my blood sugar dropping later because my body is just catching up to all of the exercise I have done and exercise makes blood sugars drop,” Schillaci comments.


More to Discover