Multi-sport athletes struggle to balance spring commitments


Mya Darling and Jezza Hutto

When the spring sports season rolls around, many students are called upon to make a choice that could affect their future athletic careers.

As freshman Olivia Lynch’s first spring season of high school sports arrives, she is experiencing conflict in this area. Lynch is torn between club soccer, with the Sandpoint Strikers, and high school track.

She started playing soccer in the second grade, and has been a part of Sandpoint Strikers FC since she was nine years old. During the 2017 fall season, Lynch was on the junior varsity team.

“I have more of my close friends on my soccer team and I have deeper roots with the Sandpoint Soccer Association,” Lynch said.

In track, Lynch participates in high jump and the 400 meter dash; however, high jump is where she excels. She started doing track in middle school and her athleticism allowed her to quickly pick up on the technique of the high jump.

“I want to do both because I want to meet new people and be able to have more athletic opportunities throughout my high school career,” Lynch said.

Track season has begun and Lynch is currently participating in both soccer and track practices, working hard to find a balance. Though she has decided to do both, she expects it to be demanding, mentally and physically.

“I’m most worried about time management,” Lynch said. “Soccer and track are at the same time every day, and on top of constantly missing one or the other, I am juggling school work, my social life, my family, and personal time.”

Senior Noah Hastings also decided that rather than choosing one spring sport over another, he would work hard to be able to participate in both. He has been mastering the ability to balance two sports at the same time since his sophomore year.

During the fall soccer season, Hastings was a captain of the boys varsity team. In past spring seasons he has played with Sandpoint Strikers FC, but this season he is guest playing for a Post Falls club team called Inferno.

Besides for some tennis lessons in elementary school, Hastings started tennis his sophomore year and excelled naturally, making varsity his first year. Along with soccer, he has also received the title of captain.

“I find leadership and communication an easy thing for me so captaining both teams isn’t one of the biggest challenges,” Hastings said. “[The hardest part] is mostly finding my own time to do school work.”

Hastings has tennis practice four times a week and soccer twice a week. When the two sports’ schedules overlap, he is often faced with the decision of which event to attend. Typically, he chooses based on which one is more important for the team’s success.

Hastings’ coaches are understanding of his busy schedule, and his tennis coach, Kent Anderson,  is aware that his soccer career is priority because he plans to play in college.

“We have a pretty good relationship so he’s okay with me choosing soccer over tennis,” Hastings said.

Junior Yeo Won Yarnell has experienced doing both spring soccer and track, but after two years of this she realized the work load was too much, and is now focusing solely on soccer.

“I still love track but I have a greater passion for soccer and that’s what I want to do in college so in order to get myself there, I had to choose between them,” Yarnell said.

Yarnell has been playing soccer since she was in second grade. She played with Sandpoint Strikers FC in past years, and is currently playing with the Spokane Shadow Soccer Club.

She originally started track to stay in shape for soccer, but ended up making state for the 800 meter and creating many close connections with her teammates. She later decided to sacrifice track in pursuit of her soccer career.

“It was pretty rough doing both at the same time because the practice times would often conflict with each other,” Yarnell said. “Last season I had a really hard time because I never got any rest which hurt my performance in both sports.”