Junior Forced to Pick One Sport: Wrestling or Soccer?


Molly Fisher, Staff Writer

Junior Lexi Valley started the first two weeks of the “summer” season participating in both wrestling and soccer. However, she was then approached by the Athletic Department and notified that she would need to drop out of one sport. 

Being a multi-sport athlete at the varsity level is no joke. It takes time, commitment and athleticism. In this COVID season, it’s even harder as schedules are adjusted and seasons moved.

Valley did her research before she was confronted by the administration, but was disappointed when she was told she would need to pick one sport. 

“The idea was shut down immediately and I got really upset. I was more frustrated than sad because I saw no problems with what I was asking.” 

Valley anticipated having conflicts with practices and games, but she never expected she would have to choose one over the other.

“I thought that I could cause some problems with a couple of practice conflicts, but I didn’t really expect that I wouldn’t be allowed to play both,” she said. “I thought I was gonna have problems with balancing the practice schedules, not that I wasn’t going to be allowed to play.”

Student-athletes have gone through so much uncertainty during these abnormal times. Having spring seasons canceled last year, athletes, such as Valley, were hoping to return to all of their sports this school year.

Athletic Director Tim Burkhalter said it wouldn’t be reasonable for an athlete to participate in two sports during the same season. He explained that missing several practices and then showing up to games would be simply unfair to the other players who attended hours of practice, not to mention the constant disruption in the team chemistry. 

Knowing that she had to stop playing either wrestling or soccer, Valley eventually decided to continue with wrestling. 

“I ultimately chose wrestling because I feel like I have so much more room to grow. Don’t get me wrong, I love soccer and I absolutely love being a part of the team, which is why I’m going to be the team manager, to stay connected. I just found myself feeling more drawn to what wrestling can give back to me. I’ve been playing soccer for 14 years and I just started wrestling last year and I feel like wrestling pushes me in ways soccer can’t anymore, physically and especially mentally.”

Next year, as the athletic calendar returns to normal, Valley will participate in both sports.