A Rare Breed: The Two-Sport Athlete

Bridget Sherry ‘19 and Jequan Mitchell ‘18 are both forces on the field. Sherry plays both field hockey and lacrosse whereas Mitchell is on the football and track teams

Nick Brough

nibrough@ursinus.edu

The world of college sports is full of opportunities. At Ursinus, there is a variety of sports offered to students. According to the Ursinus website, the school offers 25 varsity sports and a third of the study body participates in those sports. On this campus there is an unusual breed of athlete known as the two-sport athlete, two standouts being sophomore Bridget Sherry and junior Jequan Mitchell.

These students face the challenge of balancing a college workload with two sports, along with any other extracurricular activities they may be involved with on or off campus. For many students, managing schoolwork can be difficult enough; depending on what major a student may have, the workload can be especially hard to handle. Two sports, then, can be a hassle to juggle with everything else student-athletes do, but some make it work.

Sherry is a member of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams. In field hockey, Sherry plays defense and has 30 games under her belt as a sophomore. In lacrosse her freshman year, she played 16 of 17 games and scored 21 points. “Our teams essentially have two seasons per sport, so I really miss the off-season of one sport while I’m in regular season for the other,” said Sherry. “I have found that managing my time is crucial in order to finish all of my work for classes.”

While it may seem impossible to balance all of this with schoolwork, Sherry said that she finds time whenever she can to keep up.  “With efficient time management, I am definitely able to complete my work,” she said. “However, sometimes we do have to do schoolwork on the buses to away games.”

Mitchell, another two-sport athlete, plays football and runs track for the Bears. As far as playing two sports goes, Mitchell said, “[it] can be difficult at times because there is not really a time of the year where you [can] focus strictly on school work and nothing else.”

Sometimes it can be hard for athletes to be as successful as possible while committing to two sports a year, especially with such varying schedules. “I have to find time to do my schoolwork. During track season I feel like I get a lot more work done because practice is only from 4-6, with football I would have meetings from 2:45 and practice until 6:15-6:30,” said Mitchell.

Both athletes stressed how academics always come before athletics and how much their coaches emphasize this point. “Due to class times my teammates and I sometimes have to miss the beginning of practices [but] our coaches definitely stress [that] academics come first,” Sherry acknowledged.

“For the most part I am able to make athletic meetings. There may be a few times where I would have to come late because I had to get work done, but I try to work around my athletic schedule,” Mitchell added.

Although these athletes have a large amount of responsibility to deal with, they also have many people supporting them who want to see them succeed. This includes coaches, professors, friends, and family.

“In my opinion, Ursinus has a great support system for athletes,” said Sherry. “The faculty is extremely supportive of the student athletes and often attend games!” Mitchell agreed with this, noting the support he gets from staff and family.

With field hockey and football held in the fall, and lacrosse and track in the spring, both semesters are fully loaded for Sherry and Mitchell.

Currently, the football and field hockey seasons are in full swing. With their constant commitment to excellence in both academics and athletics, they are taking on the semester full force.

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