Life as a student athlete is not easy, especially at a junior college, these schools are often looked at as inferior to other levels of play.

JUCO’s can be a great option for student-athletes for several reasons including affordability and more playing time as a freshman.

For two years of their lives these athletes dedicate early morning workouts and practices, along with practicing and competing year round to become the best student and athlete as possible in hopes of making their childhood dreams come true and continue on to a four year school.

“I think JUCO really helps you with time management and also like hard work because we do have a lot more traveling, a lot shorter season then a lot of other schools,” said Williston State Sophomore volleyball player, Trystan Barta. “So we have to cram everything in and you have to make sure you know how to manage everything you are doing because you also need to keep your grades up, if you’re planning on going to a for year. So it’s very important to get those scholarships and things like that.”

Most of the time these schools have lower enrollments than four year universities making a tight knit community where everybody feels supported and welcomed.

Although the JUCO lifestyle isn’t the most luxurious it’s a two year period that these athlete thoroughly enjoy.

“Whenever they leave here, obviously I want them to be champions, I want to be at the top of our conference, I want to win but more importantly I want them to have a really good experience while they are here,” said Williston State Volleyball Head Coach, Caitlyn Muder. “I know when I went to JUCO that was what I took away, I wished my JUCO was a four year school, I loved it so much.”

The NJCAA has over 500 schools from around the country competing in 16 sports.