LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - While most multi-sport high school student athletes choose one sport to focus on their senior year, players in small communities like Anton continue to play multiple sports.
In fact, playing multiple sports has become the norm for Bulldog sports teams.
“As soon as you’re done with one, you jump right in to the next one," Quinton Sherrod said. "So you’ve got to kind of adapt to that.”
Like many of his teammates, the senior running back plays three sports at Anton High School. In the fall, he plays football, while in the winter he plays basketball, then in the spring he runs track and field.
Sherrod said, “There’s no way to really handle that. You’ve just got to kind of go with it because you don’t know really when you’re going to start playing basketball. I remember in previous years, we came out of football and then the next Tuesday we had a basketball game, so you get one practice before you get your first basketball game and you just kind of got to go with it.”
This kind of difficult scheduling happens often, even as coaches at Anton work together to try and keep it from happening.
“That’s 1A man, I mean that happens a lot," said Head Football Coach, Matthew Hoover. "Especially if you make playoffs in football, you know you’re going, you lose on a Friday night and most of the time that next Tuesday you’re having basketball games of some sort. You might get in the gym to shoot around a little bit on Saturday, and then have a real actual practice on Monday and rocking and rolling after that...that’s just the nature of the beast.”
The players enjoy playing all the sports and not having a true offseason, but it’s inevitable that athletes will suffer injuries or feel exhausted. However, the players and coaches agree there’s a huge benefit and life lessons to be learned through playing sports.
Hoover said, “I think it gets them ready for life, to learn how to juggle different schedules. Separate the time correctly so that they can accomplish all of their needs and all of their goals and do it in a timely manner, not get behind. Just learn how to manage time and be an adult essentially at a young age.”
For players like Sherrod, the schedule helps him and his friends stay out of the streets and out of trouble.
“You do feel it towards the end of the year. Track season you start to feel that on your body, but honestly, it just keeps all of us busy and keeps us from doing stupid stuff as much at least,” he said.
Sherrod and his teammates also get to experience their hard work paying off early in their lives. With little to do in the small community, parents and fans flock to sporting events on the weekends.
“Everybody just kind of comes together when we start playing sports," he said. "It’s not like we have a ton of things to do. So everybody is just football, and basketball, and even some track meets you’ll see some parents out there, but that is what brings everybody together around here - sports.”
Hoover said, “A lot of times this is the only thing that’s happening on Friday nights in these small communities. At the end of the day it takes a village to raise a kid, well there’s a lot of villagers helping out here and a lot of different aspects, so you support these kids in every which way you can.”
Sherrod said he has not thought about playing sports at the next level, but if the opportunity presents itself, he hopes it’s football.