Multi-sport players tackle athletics and academics

Angelica Dwight

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SPORTS are seasonal and are spread out throughout the school year, giving athletes the opportunity to play multiple sports in one school year. Each sport has their own designated time of year that they play competitively. These seasons usually only last 3-4 months, but most athletes train almost year-round. The sports played by Lancers are very different from each other, honing different skills but using a similar work ethic. 

During the school year, athletes are given the opportunity to play more than one sport if they make it into the individual into the inteams. Athletes often join more than one sports team in a school year. Being an athlete that plays one sport is already time-consuming and draining, but athletes that play more than one double the time commitment and require double the athleticism.

 If athletes join more than one sports team in a school year, they are considered to be a multi-sport athlete. Multi-sport athletes train differently throughout the year compared to single-sport athlete. This training may include more weight lifting, lengthier conditioning, and increased work on specific skills for each different sport. 

“For every sport, we train differently.  In football we train a lot more outside to get us prepared for the heat, but in basketball, we do more of the open gym like just practicing,” Andrew Fleishel (12) said. Fleishel is a three-sport athlete who plays football, basketball, and tennis. All of the sports Fleishel plays are very difficult and require different sets of skills. Fleishel has learned how to train and take skills from one sport and apply them to the others. 

Athletes playing several sports have little free time, making it even more difficult for these students to complete schoolwork. In addition, these athletes may have additional work and home responsibilities. Most students have responsibilities to take care of outside of school, as some students hold jobs in addition to being a student athlete. Trying to juggle sports, school work, home tasks, and everyday life is a struggle for anyone, especially teenagers. On top of all these commitments, student athletes have to work for good grades and maintain a high CPA to stay on their sports team. This sounds overwhelming, but they still decide to work through these obstacles. 

“Seasons go best with some sports, for example, you couldn’t have a sport like football in the winter because where would they play when there’s snow on the ground?” Tu Tran (11) said. Tran plays on both the girls tennis and softball teams.

Every sport has its games or matches where athletes can showcase their skills. However, not all competitions have high student attendance. Football and basketball tend to be the most popular sports for students to attend. Most students enjoy going to these games to support the players and keep up with school activities.

Different sports are spread throughout each season of the school year. For example, fall has football, volleyball, girls soccer, cross country, girls tennis, and boys golf. Winter is the time for both the boys and girls basketball teams as well as wrestling, swimming, and drill. With spring comes baseball, girls golf, boys soccer, softball, and track & field. 

Here at Granger, our coaches love multi-sport athletes. It is estimated that there are about 40 students who play more than one sport. Coach Vidal and Coach Barlow are in agreement about loving multi-sport athletes, and both coaches wish there were more students willing to take on the challenge. 

“That number is so low because students have the lazy mentality, they fear they’ll miss something in their sport if they do multiple,” Barlow said.

“We wish we had more multi-sport athletes so they have skills and stability in multiple sports instead of just one,” said Vidal. He believes more kids could become multi-sport athletes if current athletes recruit other students. “Recruitment coming from your friends is more more motivating,” Vidal said. 

“Playing multiple sports year around will also help with keeping athletes’ grades up as well as benefiting learning how to compete differently,” said Barlow. Granger athletes love to compete so look for your favorite Lancers as they change jerseys throughout the year.