Student-athletes sometimes have difficulties with time management.
Hassan Sesay, however, is proof that where there is a will, there is a way.
The Whetstone High School junior is a three-sport athlete who has a 3.9 GPA and juggles athletics with college-prep classes and has major responsibilities at home.
"My younger brother, Ahmed, is 13 and is autistic," said Sesay, who had a 14-5 record at 160 pounds for the wrestling team entering this week. "He can't do a whole lot. I have to help feed him, dress him, shower him and just prepare him for school and for bed. It used to be a little easier before my older brother (Ibrahim) went to college. We used to share those things."
Sesay said that his home life has helped him grow and mature as a person.
"I feel bad that Ahmed isn't like the rest of us, but he has us as a family to take care of him," he said. "I feel grateful and seeing him makes me appreciate everything I have, everything we receive and everything we can do functionally that he just can't do. Sometimes you forget that in our day-to-day lives, but then you see him and it clicks in how fortunate we truly are."
Sesay runs cross country in the fall and competes in track and field in the spring.
"The good thing about cross country is that practices are short and the weekday meets are pretty fast, so that helps," he said. "My dad can get my brother off the bus on Mondays and Tuesdays and that gives me some practice time."
Sesay also is different from his older brother in terms of athletics. Nicknamed "Speedy," Ibrahim Sesay, a 2018 Whetstone graduate, played football and competed in wrestling and track for the Braves and is now playing football at West Virginia State.
"Speedy is an explosive athlete with lots of natural athletic ability and, although he also was a hard worker, things seemed to come a bit easier for him," said Tom Jones, who coaches the wrestling and football teams. "Hassan is more disciplined and cerebral. He's calm and logical, and he does whatever is necessary to make improvements. His success is directly related to his work ethic and mental approach."
Hassan readily agrees with that assessment.
"I'm more brain than brawn, and (Ibrahim) is more brawn than brain," Hassan said. "He's pretty much opposite of me. I have to put more time in to see results and he just goes out there and does it. He's a step ahead of me in terms of natural ability."
Hassan was City League runner-up and a Division I district alternate at 145 last season. Ibrahim was a three-time City champion and two-time district qualifier.
"My goals also are different than (Ibrahim's)," Hassan said. "I plan to go to college at Cincinnati, Ohio State or Ohio University and concentrate on academics and my education, so I won't be competing in sports after high school.
"My goals this season are to win a City championship, reach district and place at district. Accomplishing all three would be perfection this year."
The wrestling team was to compete in the Panther Invitational on Jan. 19 at Pickerington North, but the event was canceled because of bad weather.
The Braves picked up a dual meet with Watterson on Jan. 23 in preparation for the City League preliminaries on Thursday, Jan. 24, when they play host to Marion-Franklin and Northland. The City semifinals and finals will be held Jan. 31 at a site to be determined.
"We'd like to make the Watterson dual an annual dual because it would become another great natural rivalry like Centennial," Jones said. "We would rotate with them like we have to with Centennial and that would give us one big, fun dual at home every year."
Fuqua-Millington, Vokac lead bowlers
The girls bowling team was 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division before competing against International on Jan. 22.
Through nine matches, Alea Fuqua-Millington had a team-best 157.9 game average, followed by Noa Leslie (150.2) and Lindsay Arnold (143.8).
The boys team was 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the COHSBC-C before the match against International.
Through eight matches, Nathan Vokac had a team-high 174.6 average, followed by Victor Waitkus (164.1), Josh Jones (160.9), John Longar (159.1) and Will Setevens (158.1).
Boys basketball team drops close contests
The boys basketball team lost a pair of close contests last week and was 2-12 overall and 1-7 in the City League-North Division before playing at league-leading Beechcroft on Jan. 22.
The Braves will play host to Northland on Friday, Jan. 25, and Mifflin on Tuesday, Jan. 29, in league contests.
Whetstone lost to East 81-78 on Jan. 15 and fell to Linden-McKinley 58-55 on Jan. 18.
Entering this week, Whetstone was seventh in the City-North, behind Beechcroft (7-1), Linden and Northland (both 6-2), Centennial (5-3), East (4-4) and Mifflin (3-5) and ahead of International (0-8).
The Braves had their high offensive output of the season against East. Antwan Allen had a team-high 21 points, followed by Sam Barrett with 16, Rashaun Broomfield with 12, Caleb Brigle with 10 and Jaden Arledge with nine.
Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Northland. The Braves lost to the Vikings 86-51 on Dec. 18.
*Jan. 29 -- Home vs. Mifflin. The Braves lost to the Punchers 60-50 on Dec. 21.
*Jan. 25 -- At Northland. The Braves lost to the Vikings 78-10 on Dec. 18.
*Jan. 29 -- At Mifflin. The Braves beat the Punchers 34-26 on Dec. 21.
*Jan. 24 -- West at Sequoia Pro Bowl
*Jan. 28 -- Village Academy at Sequoia Pro Bowl
*Jan. 24 -- Home vs. Marion-Franklin and Northland in City League preliminaries