Athletes fill roles on teams during their off season

Athletes fill roles on teams during their off season

CiCi Mora runs cross country in the Fall then trades in her uniform for soccer warm ups as she begins soccer work out in the Winter. (Esther Padgett photo)

As the Fall season comes to an end and sports such as cross country and football finish their season, athletes take time to look back on their season. They begin their off season with work-outs to help them improve their skills for the upcoming year. But a few Panther athletes jump right back onto the field to play soccer during the Winter season. There are those who go from kicking the winning field goal to running the full 100 yards non stop while others trade their cross country jerseys in for soccer warm up suits.

“It feels great and it’s fun to do two sports. You get to meet new people and spend time with them during your off season,” junior soccer player and cross country runner Cici Mora said, “I also have more endurance than most girls who just jump in and play soccer and I feel more in shape when I start the season.”

Cross over athletes admit there is something more than just wins or physical fitness that is gained from participation in more than one sport. Junior Hector Sifuentes stepped in and helped the football team out this season when the starting kicker could not play.

“Playing two varsity sports for me is not hard at all, it is an honor,” Sifuentes said, “Playing football has taught me that everyone has a role on the field and if you do your small job, you make a big difference in games. Soccer has taught me to always stay relaxed even in tough situations.”

Athletes say participating in an off season sport is sometimes enjoyable. Those such as junior Nick Sanchez, who runs cross country and plays soccer say crossing sports comes with disadvantages that occasionally interfere with one of the sports.

“When your sore in one sport it can affect the performance in later sport,” Sanchez said, “Sometimes you might not be able to give 100 percent to the other sport if you are tired.”

Coaches are aware of the fatigue and risk of injury for their players, but they are willing to overlook the risks and focus on the advantages.

“I think its awesome, any time one sport can help another sport out,” boys soccer coach, Nuno Pasos said. “There could be a disadvantage, because injuries from over training, but in our case I think it just works good. We have a good system in place.”

Head football coach Jeff Dicus says he greatly encourages their athletes to take on another challenge in the off season.

“ Obviously a sport like track is gonna help any football athlete,” Dicus said, “Other sports will only benefit or enhance what we are trying to do in football.”

Dicus also says that having a different coach work on the same principles in a different sport helps the players when it comes time for them to step on the field for another sport.

“Any time that athletes can get another type of discipline from another sport, its going to enhance their total package,” Dicus said.

For these cross sport athletes and their coaches there is much to gain. Not only physically but even in the long run when they graduate from high school and head into the real world.

“Its more than just sports that we have to instill into our kids, its about growing up, maturing and becoming and adult,” Dicus said, “thats what we’re here to help with.”

Cross country coach Beale Tolbert says that she loves it when athletes come out to run cross country when it is their off season.

“Running cross country will never hurt students participation in another sport,” Tolbert said. “This can only benefit the other sports they play.”