Two Sport Athletes in Texas – What does it take to be a two sport athlete in Texas?
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Introduce the 2 sport athletes
Since 1950, only 27 athletes have been lucky enough to compete in two professional sports. Out of these 27, only four of them were born in Texas. Two of these athletes played football and baseball, while the other two were involved in basketball and football. Here is a look at the two-sport Texas athletes.
Larry Doby was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) and the first player to go from the Negro Leagues to MLB. He was born in Camden, Texas in 1923 and died in 2003. Doby joined the Chicago White Sox in 1947 and played for them until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1955. He played outfield for the Indians until his retirement in 1959. In his 13 seasons in MLB, Doby had a batting average of .283 with 253 home runs and 969 RBIs.
Doby also played professional football for the Los Angeles Rams from 1951 to 1952 as a wide receiver. In his two seasons with the Rams, Doby had 31 receptions for 747 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Earl Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas in 1934 and died in 2005. He was a pitcher who played 12 seasons in MLB, beginning his career with the Detroit Tigersin 1959. Wilson also played for the Boston Red Sox (1964-1969), San Diego Padres (1970), and New York Mets (1971). Over his career, Wilson had a record of 154-142 with 1905 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.46.
Wilson also played basketball for three seasons with the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1964 to 1967 while he was still playing baseball. As a Piston, Wilson averaged 4 points per game and 2 rebounds per game.
How they are able to balance academics with their sports
There are a few things that Texas A&M University- Commerce’s two-sport athletes have to balance in their lives. First, there is academics. Second, there is their sport. And third, there is everything else in life. For some, it seems like an impossible task to keep up with all three. But our two-sport athletes seem to manage just fine.
“It’s tough sometimes, especially during the season when we have games and practices every day,” said Jaren Lewis, a wide receiver on the TAMU-Commerce football team and member of the men’s track and field team. “I just have to make sure I keep up with my studies and stay on top of things so I can succeed in both sports.”
TAMU-Commerce offers its student-athletes plenty of resources to help them succeed both on the field and in the classroom. The school has a full-time academic advisor for each team, as well as tutors and study hall hours set aside for athletes.
For some students, like softball player Kourtney Williams, it is necessary to take a lighter course load during their season in order to focus on their sport.
“My coaches work with me and my professors to make sure I am still able to get all the coursework done that I need without having too much stress during the season,” said Williams. “I know it is important to succeed in both academics and athletics, so I am willing to do what it takes to balances everything out.”
It is clear that TAMU-Commerce takes great pride in its student-athletes and their success both on and off the playing field. The school provides them with everything they need to succeed in their chosen pursuits. For our two-sport athletes, that means finding a balance between academics and athletics – something they seem to have no problem accomplishing
What kind of support they receive from the school and community
Support for TAMU 2 sport athletes in Texas is great. The school provides top of the line facilities and equipment for the athletes. The community is very supportive and usually comes out to watch the games. The atmosphere at the games is always electric.
What their future goals are
While some students arecontent with balancing two sports in college, many have their sights set on goingprofessional in one or both sports. Here’s a look at some of the athletes onthe TAMU 2 sport team who have professional aspirations.
Wrestler/Football player Kyle Blevins plans to go professional in bothWrestling and Football. He is currently ranked 5th in the state forwrestling and had this to say about his future goals,”I definitely wantto go D1 for wrestling and I feel like I can do that. I’ve been working hardin the off-season and I think it’s paying off. As for football, I just wantto keep playing as long as I can. I love the game and it’s brought me somuch joy. Hopefully, I can make a career out of it.”
Basketball player Kourtney Edwards also has plans to go professional infootball. She said,”I’ve been playing basketball since I was little soit’s always been my dream to go professional. But ever since I startedplaying football in high school, I’ve fallen in love with the game too. Soplaying professionally in both sports would be a dream come true.”
Soccer player/Track runner Allyson Felix is one of the most accomplishedathletes on the TAMU 2 sport team. She is a 9-time Olympic medalist and holdsmultiple world records in Track & Field. When asked about her futuregoals, she said,”I definitely want to keep competing in both soccerand track & field as long as possible. It’s been such a privilege to beable to compete at the highest level in both sports and I’m just gratefulfor every opportunity I’ve had.”