By Brylee Beckley
Hundreds of practices, 100 percent of effort given, hundreds of hours of dedication, hundreds of gallons of sweat, tears and blood shed, and hundreds of games played.
Many high school athletes decide to use their athletic abilities for just one or two sports, but it’s different for several athletes at Delta.
Some of these three-sport athletes are Braelyn Fleck, Kendra Keesling, Palmer Samuels, Cooper Bratton and Parker Faletic. They participate in school sports ranging from volleyball, football or cheerleading in the fall, to basketball in the winter, and to baseball, track or golf in the spring.
Playing more than one sport can be beneficial to a student’s other sports.
“You are able to learn different agility and strength from football,” senior Parker Faletic said, “which carries over to basketball and baseball, so all the different movements on your body can be helpful to your other sports.”
All the students have one thing in common: they commit their time for the love they have for their sport and team. Braelyn Fleck, a junior, said it best.
“I think about doing it for my team and not for myself … I just think about how my team needs me,” Fleck said.
She is a defensive specialist for volleyball, a backspot for cheerleading, and a hurdler for track.
Over the summer and throughout volleyball season, Fleck was going to volleyball practices and cheerleading practices back to back. Over the summer she had volleyball practices twice a day, Monday through Friday, then she had cheerleading practice twice a week. Once the school year began, she would go from volleyball practice after school from 4 to 5:45 p.m., then to cheerleading practice from 5:45 to 8 p.m.
When Fleck has a day off she spends her time working out, completing homework, and spending time with friends and family.
“If one of the sports has a rough environment, I know the next sport that is in season I need to better the environment for my team,” Fleck said.
Fleck was not alone through this. She had her teammate and best friend all in one, junior Kendra Keesling, who was also double-committing her time to volleyball and cheerleading.
Keesling plays middle hitter in volleyball, runs sprints and competes in long jump in track, and performs as a backspot in cheerleading.
“We always go through ups and downs together, which helps us both become better athletes,” Keesling said.
Junior Palmer Samuels has had a setback to the start of his junior year. Samuels tore his ACL and meniscus in a summer football scrimmage. In a normal year he is a quarterback for football, a forward for basketball, and a pitcher and a middle infielder for baseball. Samuels will miss football and basketball this school year and may not be back 100 percent for baseball season as he rehabs from his knee surgery.
“I cannot choose just one sport to play, because they are all my favorite,” Samuels said.
Through all of these sports Samuels has learned many important lessons from his coaches.
“The most important lesson I have been taught is being a leader and a teammate and also learning how to work together with others,” Samuels said.
Freshman Cooper Bratton is starting off his high school experience planning to be a three-sport athlete. Bratton’s sports are football, basketball and golf.
“School work comes first, before any sport, so I plan on committing my time to school first,” Bratton said.
Parker Faletic has played three sports each year throughout his high school career, those sports being football, basketball and baseball.
Faletic continues pushing himself because of his natural desire to win. This desire drives him to want to play football at the collegiate level.
“There are people that are working just as hard or even harder than you are so you always have to keep working so they don’t pass you,” Faletic said.