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Alma’s Waldrop juggles academic load 1/3/22

Alma’s Waldrop juggles academic load

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


The light glistening through the bus window is giving Shaylin Waldrop enough shine to help her finish her homework. It's Tuesday night, three days before the end of the first semester. 


Shaylin Waldrop is juggling school (and homework) with her other passion athletic training. 


Twenty minutes later, the bright lights of Northwest Arkansas now in the shadows, Waldrop is using the light from her iPhone. 


There's homework to finish. 


"There are days I don't know how she does it," Alma athletic trainer Patt Webb said. "She's going to be a high honors graduate. She's in choir, and she was also in the musical ("Elf"), plus athletic training.


"There are many days where she works as many hours as I do."


Four days later, winter break is barely hours old when Waldrop climbs aboard one of the team's green coach buses for the 100-mile journey back to Anderson, Missouri, sight of the weeklong Mustang Classic at McDonald County High School. 


It's a bittersweet moment for Waldrop. The Alma senior is making her final bus trip as an athletic trainer. 


"I'm not going to lie, it's been kind of tough," she said. "(But) I just do what I enjoy, and when you enjoy what you do you always make time."


"Shay is an amazing, unique young lady," Webb said. "She sings opera and everything else, is an artist, a student athletic trainer, and a high honors graduate. 


"She has chosen her own unique path and sets her goals and works super hard to achieve them."


Oh, and last October, Waldrop was selected by her peers as the school's 2021 homecoming queen. 


Fewer out-of-town bus rides with the basketball and soccer teams will lessen her load for her final semester of high school. 


"I'm going into vocal music education, so I'm focusing more on choir - that's why I'm not traveling with basketball anymore," Waldrop said. "I'll still be at some (home) games."


"Shay is super special," Webb said. "She's been with me since she was in the ninth grade. She's worked multiple sports; she's one of those kids you want to see succeed."


"It's really hard because I've been with Patti for four years," Waldrop said. “She’s somebody that I can trust and count on. But she wants the best for me and I’m very excited for what the future holds.”


Road trips aren’t just about taping ankles and helping them focus after a hard hit on the football field, it’s about relationships. 


“They’ve definitely become like family,” Waldrop said. “The football boys were like brothers to me, and the basketball boys are quickly becoming like brothers. I’ve grown up with most of them. 


“It’s sad, but hopefully they know they have my full support.”


A favorite player?


All of them, of course.


“Because personalities are so different, it’s hard to pick just one; they’re all really cool people,” Waldrop said. “I’m glad I got to meet them and get to know them as people.”