Husky soccer players applying athleticism to other other sports
Aug 29, 2017 11:07AM
● By Jana Klopsch
Madeline Martin leaps over a hurdle. Martin had two of the fastest hurdle times in the state this past spring. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Dual sports soccer players [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
It was after her sophomore year of high school when Madeline Martin decided something had to give.
She had just finished a spring season that included club soccer, high school track and was (still is) part of the IB program at Hillcrest High School.
“I couldn’t balance all of those so I had to give up comp(etition soccer),” she remembered.
Martin, now a senior, had played soccer since she was 8 when some friends invited her to play in a recreation league, but she had only participated in one track meet prior to high school. How did she make the choice to continue track rather than with her club soccer team?
“They were related to my school which was close at hand. Club, we had to travel really far and had a completely different schedule than everything else, even though I really, really wish I could keep playing club,” Martin said.
Martin is just one of many girls on the Hillcrest girls soccer team who participates in other sports. Anna Wright is a junior who plays soccer, basketball and track while sophomore Morgan Miller does the same. In an era when sport specialization is common at a younger age, various girls pack away their cleats and leave the field only to walk straight into the gym and put on their basketball shoes.
Cara Snowder started playing soccer when she was 4 and didn’t play basketball competitively until she joined the Husky basketball team freshman year, after a slight push from her mom.
While Snowder, a senior, has teammates who play their respective sports year-round; she enjoys the freshness of exchanging grass for the hardwood and vice versa.
“Sometimes those girls who have been playing all year long, they’re like ‘Oh, just another game, just another season,’” Snowder said. “Going into different sports…it makes me more excited and mentally prepared to play when it’s new.”
That’s not to say Snowder and Martin don’t love both of their respective sports.
Martin plays forward/winger for the soccer team in the fall before the speedster plies her quickness to the track during springtime running the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay and occasionally dabbling in the high and long jumps. Martin had two of the state’s fastest times in both her hurdle events this past spring.
She said she enjoys the community feeling of the track team where teammates spend hours together during meets describing them as “one giant family.” Personal responsibility is also greater in track where you can’t rely on anyone else—something she appreciates.
“It’s much more individualized, like you are the only person to blame for your failures and you’re the only person to praise for your successes,” Martin said.
Though it’s not something she wishes to do all year long. She once had to train a few weeks extra after the track season to prepare for an intrastate meet in Albuquerque, N.M.
“It was just me training for a few extra weeks. Even though I love track, I just got so bored with it, and I needed to change,” Martin said. “Since I hadn’t played soccer for a year and I was really excited for soccer and it makes me appreciate it so much more.”
While the girls enjoy the change of pace, each of their sports have correlating benefits to one another.
Snowder said with the tighter spaces in basketball, it means more contact so she’s had to learn to control her temper. Basketball has also taught her to better communicate as a teammate.
“That’s helped me in soccer being the center defender. I help people out on the field because I can see the whole field so I’ve learned through basketball to communicate with people,” she said.
Though that doesn’t mean there aren’t vast differences. Snowder said being in “soccer shape” is completely different from basketball shape.
“I could be in really good soccer shape, but then get to basketball and get super tired,” she said. “For soccer, I do a lot of running and long distance sprinting but with basketball, it’s a lot of ladders and quick sprints.”
With both girls commencing their senior years and final soccer seasons with the Hillcrest soccer team, they echoed their desire to make it past the first round of state.
“It’s my last year,” Snowder said. “I want to remember it in a positive way and not how bad it was.”