Sophomore athlete attempts to do it all, faces injury


Many athletes play multiple sports, perhaps football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the fall, but few attempt to play two sports during one season.

Courteney Shovlin, however, has done just that.

Shovlin, a sophomore at C. M. Russell High School, played on the U-18 Thunderbolts club soccer team as a freshman and participated in several track events, including the 400 meters, 4 x 400 meter relay, triple jump, and long jump. This year, Shovlin planned to compete in the 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay, triple jump, and long jump. She also wanted to play on her 18-and-under soccer team until she was met with a frustrating injury to her knee just three weeks into the track season.

“At first they [the doctors] thought I tore my meniscus. Then they found out it was an overuse injury so I had to pick between soccer and track,” said Shovlin, who also plays basketball during the winter.

The sophomore athlete made the tough decision to continue with soccer and leave track in order to help her knee heal, but she may still compete in track next spring as a junior.

“I knew that that’s what I would miss the most. It’s what I would rather go to college for,” said Shovlin of soccer.

Shovlin said she was afraid to tell the track coaches at first that she would not be continuing with their sport, but she said “They were understanding. They wished I could compete. They want me to get healthy for next year.”

Still, Shovlin will miss the excitement she associates with track season. “I liked how when we did four by four the entire team watched you,” she said, and added that “everyone is there cheering you on when you go down the last 100.”

While Shovlin was still on the track team and enjoying her supportive teammates, she faced long days full of school, track practice, and soccer practice. “It was a lot of late nights because I went straight from school to track. Then I was usually a little to soccer,” Shovlin said. After soccer practice, which Shovlin’s team has two or three nights a week, she returned home to eat dinner, and do homework.

The experiences this spring of trying to compete in two simultaneous sports and facing an injury have taught Shovlin several things.

Concerning injuries, Shovlin said, “If you’re feeling an injury, then you should get it checked soon to minimize the time that you’re out for.”

Shovlin also has advice for athletes trying to compete in multiple sports at the same time while balancing the rigors of school work. “If you’re trying to do both, make time to do your school work because it’s real important” said Shovlin.