Playing multiple NCAA sports does not happen often at any level, but Simpson College gives this opportunity to many of its student-athletes.
It is hard competing in one sport, let alone two or three while pursuing a college degree.
Six multi-sport athletes sat down with me to talk about what their college experience is like juggling multiple NCAA sports, intramurals, clubs, social lives and of course, a college education.
While some said it is stressful, some want to do even more, but one thing they all agreed on: it is worth it.
More on the athletes:
Alyssa Mathews started her freshman year of college in volleyball season playing varsity setter and is currently in softball season, playing short stop and second base. In between NCAA sports, Mathews plays intramural basketball. She says her family and friends help her manage it all and know that volleyball and softball are important to her. He family supports her, not just by coming to games, but by making sure she is doing good in school too. As well as being an athlete, Mathews is a math major.
Hattie Liechty came to college planning to play volleyball for the college. What she was not expecting was to end up on the softball team and club rugby team too. She started playing softball earlier this year as a sophomore and has been playing volleyball and rugby since her freshman year. Liechty says her key to keeping everything together is simple: a planner. Taking things one day at a time and communicating with the coaches makes it easy. Liechty is a physical education major and coaching minor. Her advice to those thinking about playing multiple sports in college: Just do it.
Madison Endsley is a junior transfer student who plays volleyball and basketball. She is also a member of FCA, the Fellow Christian Athletes at Simpson. Unlike some multi-sport athletes, Endsley’s sports’ seasons overlap, causing her to miss out on the beginning of basketball season. She says it is not that hard because her coaches really work with her. Endsley played both sports at her previous junior college and has learned how to manage her academic and social lives while still pursuing an elementary education degree.
Simpson College junior Braden Meints is in his third year of spring training for football. Just this past indoor track season, Meints started throwing the shot put, hammer, and javelin for the Simpson College Track and Field team. For Meints, playing multiple sports has helped him make friends from all across the country. He is also a part of Best Buddies, “a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Meints is studying physical education with a minor in coaching.
Chase Wetterling did not plan on competing collegiately in track and now in just his sophomore year, he is an All-American. Wetterling originally decided to attend Simpson and play football. It was not until after freshman year football season he thought about track. He went to Track and Field Head Coach Cleveland, who told Chase he always knew he would go out. This past indoor season, Wetterling with Travis Tupper, Jordan Coughenour and Kirk Wick ran a 3:19.98 in the 4x400 meter race to place 7th at the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Wetterling says he gets nothing but support from his family, coaches, teammates, and professors while balancing his athletic pursuits and criminal justice degree.
Sam Adeniyi is in his first year of college, studying computer science and competing in football and track and field. Adeniyi is also in computer science club and Light Company which is a church service for college students. It is an extension off of SALT company that allowed Adeniyi to participate in a mission trip to Florida over Spring break. Adeniyi likes to be active and when he was given time off between sports seasons, he cut it short and just go ahead and jump in. His advice to others thinking about competing in multiple sports is to come in with an open mind and to remember that even though college play is more competitive, it is okay to have fun!
*This was a story for my Journalism 2.0 class at Simpson College. Originally posted March 31, 2017.