On track and on the ballPublished 10:58am Thursday, October 11, 2012
Many student athletes play multiple sports in high school. Some play volleyball and hockey, basketball and softball, and others will do a combination of three sports during their high school career.
Not many do multiple sports in one season. This is what makes Fergus Falls freshman Annie Magnusson a rare student athlete as she tackles playing both varsity soccer and cross country during the fall season.
Playing defensive midfielder in soccer and running at a high level for the cross country team, Magnusson has put in hard work being in condition to give it her all in both sports.
“I try to be in the best shape I can be before both sports start,” Magnusson said. “It’s a lot of conditioning, and I have to be on my toes.”
“Annie and her parents basically set the schedule,” Otter girls soccer coach Karoline Gustafson said. “If there were any possible problems either of us coaches might see we are both comfortable bringing it up. Her plan is known to both Coach Welde and I, and we are both happy that she can help us out in our respective sports.”
Magnusson makes her primary sport soccer as to keep up with her team and working game strategies, but does not limit her involvement with the cross country team as she makes her way to practices when possible.
“Her dual roles mean that we don’t always have her on the team, but when we do, we appreciate her,” Otter cross country coach Niki Welde said. “We would love to see her everyday in our sport, but competing with the teams we do and the size of school we are we see the value of sharing her.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened, not even in this family, as Annie got the idea to pursue both sports from older sister Ericka, who did the same thing.
The hardest part for Magnusson is not keeping the schedule straight, but the amount of school that she misses in order to take part in both events. “You really have to be well organized and communicate with your teachers and coaches. With both sports having two practices to begin the season, I find myself going to three or four-a-day practices, which can be tough.”
Coach Gustafson points out that if grades were an issue, multiple sports would be impossible. “Generally, an athlete that wants to be in multiple sports at the same time has to be very good at juggling everything that she needs to do. I believe she is in honors classes as well, so it just shows what a great student athlete Annie is.”
Both coaches support Magnusson in her multiple role, but each commented that it took a special student athlete to attempt such a feat.
Magnusson doesn’t believe the naysayers that say she should choose one sport or the other as her hard work and passion allow her to excel at a high level. “It would be really hard to choose if I had to. I love doing both sports for so many different reasons.”
The Otter girls soccer team will be back in action Thursday as they host the Hillcrest Comets at 7 p.m. in the Section 8A playoffs at Kennedy Secondary football field, while the Fergus cross country team will be competing in Battle Lake Thursday at the Bulldog Invitational at 4:30 p.m.
Do to its importance, the Magnusson will be taking the field for the Otter girls soccer team.