Multi-sport athletes find success while juggling hectic schedules

Jordan Boyd | Sports Editor

Double the Practice, Double the Skill, and Double the Discipline

  Multi-sport athletes are, by definition, known as athletes who compete at a high level in two or more different sports. These athletes compete for double the amount of time as single-sport athletes, but are still found in abundance among American high schools. Center Grove is no different than the rest in this sense.

   Some athletes do not believe that they have a swaying passion toward one sport rather than the other, as they both have their benefits.

IMG_0442  “I would say I share an even passion for both sports (basketball and football),” said Lucas Doyle ‘19 who has played on both the varsity football and basketball team since his freshman year. “Both sports are great because I get to play alongside lifelong friends as well as do what I love to do.”

   Not only is a football and basketball athlete a combination within the doors of CGHS, female athletes within the school have their own melting pot of athletics.

   IMG_0441“I would say I like both sports about the same. I’ve been playing both soccer and basketball since I was 4 and playing both sports brings variety into my everyday life. I like going to practice everyday after school whether it’s soccer or basketball,” said sophomore girls soccer and girls basketball player Alaina Frankel.

   Setting passions for both sports aside, some athletes have a difficult time balancing the seasons of their sports as workouts and practices overlap.

   “So far in my high school career, I have been blessed with two opportunities to possibly be a state champion in football which makes our football season quite a bit longer than normal,” said Doyle about the overlapping of athletic seasons. “In doing so, the basketball team has already had a couple weeks of practice and a week of conditioning by the time I’m just getting started.”

  Playing multiple sports in high school leaves athletes with jam-packed schedules and decisions to be made about a future– a future in collegiate athletics.

IMG_0222  “I would love to play college soccer,” said Nick Wilson ‘20 who plays soccer and runs cross country and track. “Cross country was mainly about improving my times for track, which is also a sport I would seriously consider doing in college.”

  Multi-sport athletes have been proven to be successful in athletics as a whole as their diverse training gives them a competitive edge over others who have only been trained in one sport.

 IMG_0200.JPG  “I do think that playing two sports helps me with my other ones because of the different abilities that they require that end up helping me succeed more in other sports,” said Cameron Petty ‘19 who plays football and basketball.

   Petty’s teammate, Doyle, agrees that the benefits of playing two sports in high school are prevalent on the court and on the field.

   “Playing football has helped me develop strength and toughness that I can bring to the court as well as basketball has helped me tremendously on having quick feet and on the spot decision making,” said Doyle about strengths he has acquired from playing two sports.

  Multi-sport athletes stretch their free time between competitions on a day-to-day basis but reap the benefits as they see their hard work paying off in their athletics. Catch these multi-sport athletes on the football field on a Friday night or running cross country on a Saturday morning– they do it all.

2008-16: One Player’s Journey to Making a High School Team

By: Tyler Smith

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The young and lanky kid knew he had the potential to be good the very first time he touched a basketball and stepped onto the court.  His only issue was the need to redirect some of his outgoing energy and enthusiasm and turn it into hard work and dedication to develop precise fundamentals that would set him apart from his grade level.  For freshman Spencer Aaron, basketball has always played a role in his life, and it has left him with the lesson to always work hard to achieve your goals.


“I started playing basketball in second grade, but I could not dribble, shoot or anything and enjoyed football more at the time,” Aaron said. “I actually didn’t start really getting into basketball until third grade.”


Aaron still was very young at the time, but third grade is when he started taking basketball very seriously and joined competitive teams to help improve his overall skill set.


“I started playing competitive basketball with Hoosier Hoops in third grade,” Aaron said. “There were kids on the team from Danville, Carmel and Avon.”

 

Spencer Aaron poses for a picture. Aaron has played basketball since 2008.

Spencer Aaron poses for a picture. Aaron has played basketball since 2008.

After his first year of travel basketball, Aaron had improved but faced large obstacles during his fourth grade year.


“In fourth grade I developed a bone spur in my right knee,” Aaron said. “I also had developed a stress fracture on my left knee cap.”


The combination of the injuries Aaron suffered caused him to miss his whole fourth grade basketball season. However, after a lot of work he was able to come back and joined a well-known travel basketball team.


“I played on E3, a team sponsored by NBA player Eric Gordon during my sixth-grade season,” Aaron said. “I was amazed how good some other kids were. One of the opponent’s players had an in-game dunk against us.”


All of this preparation playing AAU basketball lead to Aaron trying out for his school team at Center Grove Middle School North during his seventh grade year.

“We focused on running structured plays with screens and strategy and didn’t focus on just running up the court and shooting,” said Aaron.


Aaron also made his eighth grade team during middle school and was able to cap off his middle school career with a memorable win.


“We won county in eighth grade against Franklin Middle School,” Aaron said. “That was a great win for the team because we lost to them in county in seventh grade, and I felt we had a great chance to win the game.”


Aaron started in every game in middle school except for one between his seventh and eighth grade years.  His focus shifted to preparing for high school

Spencer Aaron's travel 8th grade team poses after they win a game.

Spencer Aaron’s travel 8th grade team poses after they win a game.

basketball as soon as middle school basketball ended.

“We paired up with a lot of the players at Middle School Central and immediately joined a travel league that competed against other teams in the region to prepare for our freshman year,” Aaron said.


Ever since the season ended for this team, Aaron and many other freshman have been attending workouts and open gyms working to improve their strength and continue to develop their skills.


“Lifting makes us tougher players,” Aaron said. “The extra strength I’ve put on has also helped me develop my skills, and I have improved my shooting a lot since middle school.”


Tryouts for the high school basketball team took place in mid- November, and Aaron’s preparation was enough to earn him a roster spot on the freshman basketball team.


“I would like to play basketball throughout high school not only because of the basketball aspect, but because it gives me the added bonus of making lifelong friends,”  Aaron said. “Making the team this year was exciting and I look to continue to improve my basketball skills.”

Jake Keith

By: Sorin Martin

Sophomore Jake Keith loves football. To him football is more than a sport, it is a way of life. Keith has played football since he was in kindergarten, and with that much dedication to a sport, it ceases to be a game.

“It is something to do and I like to be fit,” Keith said about the game.

Jake Keith covers the wide receiver in the game against Carmel.

Jake Keith covers the wide receiver in the game against Carmel.

Keith plays cornerback for the varsity football team where he also sees action on special teams.

Football has not just taught Keith how to run with a ball, it  has taught him how to live life.

“It taught me to be a team player and to have a brother.” Keith said. “[Football] has taught me how to be a man and work hard for what you want.”

As a cornerback Keith plays zone defense and blocks receivers. On special teams Keith is part of the kick off return. He is usually on the front lines and in position to return onside kicks.

When Keith is not on the football field for a game, he is at a practice. At practice Keith said that everything is very organized. The team goes through individual drills and then they move to team drills. Because Keith is on the defense he said that the coaches usually tell him and other defensive players how the upcoming opponent’s offense works.

He says this because football takes up so much of his time in a day. When school breaks come along, Keith does not run off to the beach right away, but instead he stays at home and goes to football practice. He said that it is harder over breaks because it is harder for him to get rides home because he cannot drive yet.

Football is more than a game. To Keith it is his life. Football is a way to exercise, it is a way to learn, and a way to manage things. Keith plays football, not for fame or glory, but because it is something that he loves.

“It has just been a great experience,” Keith said.

Patrick Southern: Lacrosse vs Soccer

By: Julia Boston

Senior Patrick Southern is no stranger to victory. He is the lacrosse team captain and was on the state championship soccer team.

 

“Just like soccer, lacrosse requires strong endurance. Unlike soccer, lacrosse is much more physical,” Southern said.

 

Southern, originally from Maryland, started playing lacrosse in the fourth grade.

 

“Lacrosse is a lot more popular on the East Coast so I guess I brought it over with me,” he said.

 

The season started at the beginning of March and stretches to the end of May.  The coach drills the team everyday to make sure they are prepared to face any rival.

 

“The lacrosse team practices every day of the week except the weekend or if we have a game,” Southern said. “Lacrosse has helped me become a vocal leader and has significantly helped me work with others, since I have had to do most of those things all four years of high school.”

 

Southern is leaving the program, but he still reflects on the sport that changed his life.

 

“I am not continuing my lacrosse career outside of high school because i will be attending the IU Kelley school of Business,” Southern said about his future. “My favorite experiences were starting varsity my first game as a freshman, the team dinners, and beating Westfield last year. I love the togetherness of the players and the uniqueness of the sport, along with the pace and physicality. I will miss it.”

 

Lacrosse is a sport that isn’t that big in Center Grove, but it is the life of the players on team. Southern hopes it grows to become a state sanctioned sport and becomes a staple in Center Grove Athletics.Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.23.43 AM

Rivals Become Roommates

Will Smithey has been lifelong friends with Blake Chitwood.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.46.36 AM“We first met each other in first grade when we sat by each other on the bus, our dad’s were already friends because they played on a men’s softball team together,” Smithey said.

 

Smithey and Chitwood quickly developed a friendship because of their love for baseball. They both proved to be among the best at an early age in little league, and Chitwood’s dad created an all-star team when they were in 2nd grade including Chitwood and Smithey. When they were in 5th grade, they no longer played little league baseball and put their efforts into travel baseball, coached by Chitwood’s dad.  Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.47.24 AM

 

“In 7th grade we won the USSSA Tournament, which is made up of all of the teams in the Midwest, and we also won the Lynzfield Tournament of Champions in Illinois,” Smithey said.

 

Their travel team played in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennesseee, South Carolina, and Florida as well for tournaments.

        After finishing their middle school career’s Chitwood decided to attend Roncalli High School, for the first time since 2nd grade they would compete against each other.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.48.09 AMThis year Chitwood starts at left field for Ronacalli and Smithey is the Trojan’s catcher. On opening day Center Grove played Roncalli who is ranked in the top 10 in the state. Smithey smacked a solo homerun on his first at bat of the season, and the Trojans won 4-2. Smithey and Chitwood both received offers to play baseball at the University of Indianapolis, they have decided to room together and continue their careers as teammates once again.

 

Junior Cheerleader Lives the Best of Both Worlds

“The whole thing about it is knowing that I did it.  It makes me feel accomplished.”

 

Junior Riquel Cantleberry is not talking about cheerleading.IMG_0459

 

Cantleberry has practiced amateur photography since she purchased her first camera, a Canon EOS 60D, in middle school.  A few years later, she received photo editing software, Coral Paintshop Pro, from her parents as a Christmas gift.  Cantleberry has never taken a photography class, so she had very little experience with the software.

 

“When I first got it, I was basically clicking everything and seeing what it did,” Cantleberry said.

 

Cantleberry was able to teach herself how to use her camera and photo editing software through experimentation and tutorials.  After she learned the basics, her creativity took over.

 

“I’ll just randomly get a thought in my head,” Cantleberry said.  “I’ll picture it in my mind, and I will see it come to life.”

 

When Cantleberry took a photo that she liked she would post it on social media. She received her first customer sophomore year.

 

“When she came to me, I was so excited,” Cantleberry said.  “But I also had to show her that I know what I’m doing.”

 

Cantleberry did her first photo shoot with then-senior, Kianne Laureano, last year.  Despite it being her first professional shoot, Cantleberry made sure that Laureano’s photoshoot was a success. Cantleberry’s business blossomed from there.

 

“I wanted to give her the chance to show people her work,” Laureano said.  “It was so fun just being able to laugh and not be awkward while getting my pictures done.”

 

Photography is not an easy hobby, and Cantleberry gets frustrated at how difficult it can be.  She sometimes regrets not taking a photography class.

 

“I know it would’ve taught me way more than I already know,” Cantleberry said.  “Even though I’m confident with it, it’s always good to learn more from professionals.”

 

Cantleberry has reflected on her early days and wants to make a career out of her business.

 

“It was a good starting point for me, and I can always look back and see that’s how I started, Cantleberry said.  “That was when I realized this is what I want to do.”