Multi-Sport Athletes at AHS


Reagan Leonard

Senior Jada Jensen waits for her teammates to get open on an inbounds play during a game her freshman year. She was credited with 13 points, eight rebounds, and five steals on the season.

Claire Pellett, Editor

In Atlantic High School alone, 32% of students are participating in a fall sport. 83% of those students are multi-sport athletes. Many of those athletes participate in a sport every season. “It’s stressful because the seasons overlap and then you have to decide between them,” said freshman Makenna Schroeder. 

Schroeder came into high school open-minded, soaking up all the opportunities it provided. She participates in cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, golf, softball, band, student council, AHS Fuel, and FFA. Schroeder also works at her dad’s office a couple of hours a week and babysits. Handling this full schedule and schoolwork has proven to be challenging for many AHS students but Schroeder takes it in stride. She believes that being in multiple sports has benefitted her, especially in the teamwork aspect. “Sometimes it’s like you’re the leader of the group and sometimes you’re at the bottom. So you have to learn both ways.” Schroeder admits that it’s tough to handle but she keeps going by dedicating herself to the things that are more important to her. Transitioning from middle school activities to high school was taxing as well. “It’s a lot more time-consuming,” she said, “and you don’t know the coaches, so you have to meet them on a new personal level.”

Schroeder is one of many juggling a full schedule. Senior Jada Jensen is a part of five different sports teams, AHS Fuel, and has a job at the hospital as a concierge. She enjoys the busy schedule and believes that her multiple sports have helped her in the physical aspect as well as being in the routine of going to practice, competing, and being around a team. When the spring season comes around, Jensen is busier than most, dual sporting soccer and track. She decided to try it out along with senior Aubrey Guyer during their junior year. “Both coaches handled it very well and realized we needed a little bit of rest and recovery between sports,” she said. This is not the only deal Jensen and Guyer have had together. Jensen did not go out for volleyball her sophomore year and Guyer had not gone out for basketball. They convinced each other to go back out for each other’s sports during their junior year. “I was happy that I went back out because it got me back with my friends playing together,” Jensen said.

Some athletes may not be in a different sport year-round, but they dedicate all their time to one sport. Junior Riley Wood has played softball since she was 4 and the years she’s spent practicing have paid off. Wood was named All-Conference Honorable Mention in softball’s past season. The season does not stop there for Wood. She plays softball year-round through fall and spring leagues and her practices consist of pitching and hitting 4 times a week. Wood ran cross country and played basketball in middle school but chose to participate in solely softball to focus and put all her effort into continually getting better. While most athletes might think that one sport would become repetitive, Wood never gets tired of softball. 

Sophomore Aiden Smith can relate to Wood. Smith has decided to focus on wrestling and has seen the rewards. He placed 6th at State Wrestling his freshman year. “I feel like you have more of an opportunity to get better at that sport working on it year-round,” he said. Smith however does feel like it gets tiresome only wrestling. “It does get really repetitive and makes you rethink your decision, but if you do the one sport you love the most, you can focus all your attention on getting better.”

So is it better to focus on one sport or do you receive more benefits from being a multi-sport athlete? Jensen believes that chances are if you’re a good athlete in one sport you’re going to be useful in another. And, if you’re interested in doing another sport, you should try it because you might like it or perform better in it. Wood said that often multi-sport athletes can get burnt out but she does think that it’s good they’re working on multiple sports. “I was a multi-sport athlete at one time and I enjoyed it,” she said. Smith thinks that doing more than one sport would be a good balance because focusing on one gets repetitive. Schroeder believes that being in multiple sports has helped her coordination and teamwork, but she also said that single-sport athletes should not be pressured into giving up time for their sport to be of use to others. “Whatever you try make sure you love it and then if you don’t, don’t waste your time,” she said.