Student Athlete Balances Interests with Athletics, Academics

It is known that college students generally have several commitments to various clubs and activities, and have to balance these commitments with schoolwork and social life.

Ramapo senior, Mike Kane, has quite a handle on all of it. He is a member of four on-campus clubs, is in a band and is a middle blocker for the men's volleyball team. While he admits his schedule can be overwhelming, Kane assures that he is passionate about each of the activities he is involved in.

"All the stuff that I do, I pick because it's what I'm most passionate about," Kane said. "I've been able to find a team that I could play volleyball on, a band to play music with and all the clubs, it's stuff that I'm genuinely interested in."

On Feb. 24, Kane was named one of the Ramapo athletes of the week and the Skyline Conference player of the week. He has posted 79 kills and 28 blocks in 15 matches so far this season.

Kane, a computer science major, is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Kinder-smiles club, the Computer Science Club and the Ramapo Music Club. He is also the guitarist in a hardcore punk band called Prospect.

"That's all stuff that I'm genuinely interested in, so the fact that I've been able to find outlets through the school or otherwise is great," he said.

Kane also said that he enjoys snowboarding and would like to be involved with the on-campus Snowboarding Club, but that the chance of a snowboarding injury affecting his volleyball season is too risky.

Even with all of these commitments, Kane stays on top of his studies, maintaining a 3.0 grade point average.

"I've been lucky that this semester, my class schedule is focused a bit more on some independent study stuff, so I get to do things more on my own time with the class schedule," Kane said.

He also said that keeping up with all of his activities requires a lot of foresight, and that he always tries to give himself plenty of time to do whatever he has to do, so he can adjust incase plans for another commitment change.

The Ramapo men's volleyball team has an intriguing roster, made up of six seniors, one sophomore and eight freshmen. Kane said that head coach Kevin Rodgers has done a lot of recruiting and that the team has many freshmen with potential.

The team's freshmen could learn a lot from Kane and his habits on and off the court. Obviously, any student can envy how Kane is able to balance so many of his passions into the hectic schedule that is college life, but he also provides leadership on the court.

He stressed the need for everyone on the team, himself included, to always try to better themselves on the court.

"When people talk about improvement, they always say you can't be content," Kane said. "You need to show that aside from having the skills to be a starter, that you still have potential to grow and maintain your spot."

Kane said that the team has high hopes for the season, and that their goal is to return to the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The team is off to a good start, posting a 12-4 overall record while going 6-1 in the Skyline Conference as the team nears the midway point of the season.