Multi-sport athletes able to balance their duties
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
July 05, 2014 12:41 AM | 2384 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Spencer Ashley’s greatest notoriety has come from his role as Cherokee’s quarterback, he also spent time with the school’s lacrosse program this spring. In fact, he also played baseball at Cherokee before giving that sport up.
<Br>Staff photo by Erin Gray
While Spencer Ashley’s greatest notoriety has come from his role as Cherokee’s quarterback, he also spent time with the school’s lacrosse program this spring. In fact, he also played baseball at Cherokee before giving that sport up.
Staff photo by Erin Gray
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Coaches may see the benefit of adding an athletic individual to their team, but for an athlete making room for a second — or more — sport to their schedule, it can create quite a puzzle.

Still, most say the benefits outweigh the costs.

Among those are recent graduates Jessica Baker, Steven Spears and Jessica Mlaska of River Ridge, Joseph Sorrentino and Lauren Johnson of Creekview and Peter Rohan and Lex Lauletta of Sequoyah.

Baker played softball and basketball, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Jerrah, who played softball, basketball and golf at Cherokee and Creekview.

Spears played two sports at River Ridge, football and basketball. His brother, Marcus, a rising junior, is a three-sport athlete playing football and basketball and running track. Mlaska played volleyball and basketball, Sorrentino wrestled and played football and Johnson was a three-sport athlete in cross country, basketball and track.

Rohan was involved with track and field and football, while Lauletta played football and golf.

Mlaska said playing two sports taught her time management.

“It was a little hard when they overlapped,” said Mlaska, who will be playing basketball at Georgia Southern. “Normally, it was fine. They cooperated with each other during the summer.”

Lauletta said choosing a sport for him was so difficult that he won’t even be dropping one in college. He has committed to play both football and golf at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.

“When I found out they had both, I thought was the perfect situation,” Lauletta said. “I didn’t have to make a choice.”

Spencer Ashley, a rising senior at Cherokee, quarterbacks the Warriors’ football team, but in his, first two years at the school he played baseball in the spring before switching to lacrosse as a junior. Other members of the football team, such as Michael Bean and Brittain Brown, compete in track and field. Ja’Davin Keith was a two-sport standout in basketball and baseball before a heart condition caused him to leave both.

The Creekview baseball and football teams share several athletes — including Kyle Wilkie, Chandler Wold and Dawson Ewers — who had prominent roles on both teams.

Woodstock baseball player Tanner Thomson is one who chose to stick with one sport. He played basketball during his freshman and sophomore years before dropping it for baseball alone.

“I knew my future was with baseball,” Thomson said. “I was mostly baseball my whole life, so it wasn’t a hard choice.”

During the winter, when he used to be in the gym, he is now continuing to play baseball.

“It’s non-stop,” Thomson said. “I never get a break, but I’ve had more time to focus on baseball and get better at it. It really helped me get to college.”

Thomson, who was selected to play for Team Georgia this summer, will be playing next year at Georgia Highlands College in Rome.

Thomson isn’t alone in his choice to play one sport.

“I knew soccer was my way to pay for college,” River Ridge’s Chanel Mosley said. “I never thought of playing anything else.”
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