WASHINGTON TWP. | The next time Joe Nugent gets a full eight hours of sleep will be the first time he's done so in years.
The Washington Township senior has to make sacrifices somewhere while balancing a schedule that includes four sports, advanced classes and a summer honors trip to Spain.
"I try to make time for sleep once the homework is done," Nugent said. "Sometimes I get the hard homework done and save some of the easier stuff for the morning. Sleeping isn't a real priority for me."
The top priority right now comes in the early evening when volleyball practice begins. Nugent is a four-year starter at setter for the Senators and makes time in his schedule to play for club team Enigma in the winter. A typical fall day for Nugent consists of seven hours of school, followed by two hours of soccer practice and then two more hours of volleyball.
"We've got a core group of guys that have been together since seventh grade and I love spending time with them," Nugent said. "It's not just a 'me' thing. We all feed off each other. When we have tough games or matches and we get have a hard practice the next day, these are the guys I want to be with."
As soon as the fall season is done, Nugent will join the basketball team and then prepares for track in the spring. The senior played baseball during his first two years, but even Nugent has some limits. Those limits were tested last year when the sprinter suffered a torn hamstring midway through track season.
"It was in a meet against Hebron and we were in the 4-by-100 relay," Nugent said. "I wasn't stretched out enough, but we had the chance at the school record and I took it into sixth gear until I heard a pop."
Nugent went through a rehab process and was cleared for activity just before he left for a seven-week foreign language trip to Spain. Back in the States, Nugent set his sights on a goal that has alluded him, and pretty much everyone else in the area over the last for years: beating Hebron.
The Hawks won the state title earlier this spring and have won five straight Porter County Conference round robin titles. The Senators beat Hebron last weekend in a preseason match, but now Nugent wants to win for real.
"Hebron is the team to beat and I really respect their program and their coach," Nugent said. "Playing Hebron is all the motivation I need. They are always the cream of the crop and beating them showed that all our work has paid off."
If Washington Twp. can top the Hawks again this season, perhaps Nugent can finally get some sleep.