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home : sports : sports   May 25, 2016

4/15/2014 10:39:00 AM
LaChance: Hats off to three-sport athletes

Brandon LaChance
NewsTribune Sports Writer

There are a lot of things in life we can make excuses for or come up with a semi-sensible reason why not to do something.

One may say they can’t get to the weight room or read the very attainable goal of 10 pages a day of a well-known novel because of a job, school, children, too much on the schedule, pets, car trouble, fatigue or injury.

I’m sure the list is a lot longer.

There is nothing wrong with this. It’s a normal situation in our busy lives that millions of people experience. Some individuals work to accomplish all tasks and some faze them out because they are no longer manageable.

Again, understandable.

However, this is the same reason I automatically respect someone and commend them for continuing to do what they love to do.

Not just one hobby or extracurricular activity, but everything they love to do.
Take for instance the three-sport athlete.

From August through late May or early June, a tri-sport athlete is constantly in the weight room, watching video, taking instruction from coaches, working with teammates and practicing and developing their craft. We can’t forget the summer workouts, camps and travel teams.

This is not counting homework, a part-time job, chores ordered from parents or annoying little brothers and sisters they love but could deal without for a day or two throughout the week to make life more comfortable.

Mix all the intangibles of life in 2014 in a pot and the result is a chaotic cocktail that could easily lead to excuses, cop-outs and blowing off engagements.

Saturday, during the track and field Don Gooden Invitational in Mendota, I addressed Fieldcrest junior Tessa Holland if playing three sports — volleyball, in which the Lady Knights made it to state, basketball and track — was wearing her down toward the end of the year since she is limiting herself to six jumps in the high jump per meet to protect herself from injury.

The NewsTribune all-area member in volleyball and basketball and a strong nominee for the track and field team didn’t hesitate to say no.

“No, I still feel strong as ever,” Holland said. “I love doing three sports because I always feel like I’m in good shape. I think all of my sports help one another and I love doing three sports because it makes me better.”

Holland matched her personal best and Don Gooden record she set last year with 5-foot-6 in the high jump and took second in the 400 meters.

Mendota’s Ryan Reeder wasn’t asked about being worn down but said he didn’t know how he was going to do Saturday because his hamstring had been tight.

Reeder — who plays receiver, defensive back and kicker in football, is a starter on the basketball team and put on a show in the high jump at the Don Gooden by setting his PR and tying the invite record with a leap of 6-foot-4 — said he just wanted to do his best and help out the team.

Instead of not participating, he won the high jump and the triple jump and was a member of the 800 relay team that finished second.

The list of three-sport athletes in the area is never ending.

Junior Jack Brady is the starting quarterback, starting point guard and starting second baseman for St. Bede.

Princeton senior Zoe Mead won the 200, 800 and set the Don Gooden record in the 400. She also plays basketball and was a strong cross country runner.

Taggart Venegas was the 2013 NT Offensive Football Player of the Year for helping the Red Devils make it to the second round of the playoffs, started as point guard on the basketball team and could win the closer of the year award for his abilities on the baseball mound if we offered it.

Through all the ups and downs of a sport season — not one but three — these athletes don’t give up or make excuses for any short comings.

They dust the dirt off, ice body parts and get back to playing the sports they love to play.

Brandon LaChance is a NewsTribune Sports Writer and can be reached at 220-6995, or Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.

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