Three is the magic number


Violet Glenewinkel

BALANCING IT ALL: Smiling, senior Josh Smythe-Macaulay, gets ready to go to basketball practice. He has learned to balance three sports, basketball, track and football and grades.

Shelby Kelly, Sports Editor

Sweat beads on the forehead as the outside is still dark and other students are just waking up. Sleepiness rolls off the face as passion ignites some strength to push the body and score.

For senior Josh Smythe-Macaulay and junior Katelyn Dill the alarm clock sounds at sunrise and the journey home does not begin until well after sunset. Cleats, basketballs, soccerballs, and footballs fill their 15 hour days, advanced classes’ assignments fill their nights, leaving five to six hours of sleep.

Tackling three sports, Smythe-Macaulay plays basketball, football, and track and Dill plays soccer, track, and basketball. They have been playing inside and outside of school since a young age and have not stopped playing since.

Smythe-Macaulay has been playing sports since he was four, starting with soccer and making his way to other sports, learning the balance as he grew.

“In the past it was difficult to stay on schedule but I’ve been doing this since freshman year so it’s a lot easier to adjust now,” Smythe-Macaulay said.

Baseball coach Sam Degelia explains that being a student athlete is more than just being able to make it to practices, it’s a commitment to a team and to maintaining academic excellence.

“I am all for student athletes participating in several sports throughout the year,” Degelia said. “If they are willing to put in the time for each sport and they can keep up academically then I say go for it.”

Although having to transition to sports that require different skill sets and physical requirements three times a year can be difficult Smythe-Macaulay doesn’t feel alone.

“There are many students at Bowie who are involved in multiple extracurricular activities so I feel like a lot of us are on the same boat,” Smythe-Macaulay said. “I would say my life is harder, but I love what I’m doing.”

Junior Seth Werchen is another student who understands the challenge of participating in not only one sport but multiple.

“When the season is in full swing, I have very little free time, but that comes with playing football or baseball or track,” Werchen said.

Participating in multiple sports can benefit athletes because of how much it can teach players about life in general.

“In baseball as a hitter you are going to fail more than you are going to succeed so players are constantly trying to stay consistent in baseball to limit their failures,” Degelia said. “Also working together as a team and not an individual teaches them about real life situations.”

Smythe-Macaulay has gained accomplishments because of his motivation to always strive for success.

“I’m going to Columbia University to play football next year so, in a way, sports has already affected my future,” Smythe-Macaulay said. “Hopefully whatever I end up doing, athletics is closely tied.”

Especially when challenged with the task of participating in multiple sports, being an athlete and pushing your body and mind takes a lot.

“Anyone, especially young adults, that put themselves out there for people to judge and criticize and can deal with the ups and downs of sports, in my opinion are special people,” Degalia said.

Acting as a catalyst, Dill’s parents gave her the opportunity to participate in multiple sports as a kid.

“I’ve always loved the competition and entertainment of sports, even at a very young age,” Dill said. “I think this is largely as a result of coming from an athletic family.”

Girls soccer coach Carrie Hoffman-Howell explains how hard it can be now that Dill has taken her love to a whole new height with more commitment in addition to rigorous academic courses.

“It can be very challenging with multiple sports and school,” Hoffman-Howell said.  “If the student does not communicate with their coaches, teachers, or family members, they could end up in a lot of trouble and possibly disappoint their teachers, coaches, family, or teammates.”

At some points her calendar can be very full; waking up early for school soccer, going to basketball during the day,  having track practice right after school and then going to select soccer practice after that.

“My schedule does get pretty chaotic sometimes, especially towards the wintertime when all of my sports overlap,” Dill said. “There’s a window of a few weeks where all of my sports overlap, and that is probably the most stressful time of the year for me.”

The overall commitment can also bring disadvantages if the athletes dismiss their health issues.

“If the sports overlap a lot, they might miss critical team practices for one sport while at the other sport, and not receive much playing time,” Hoffman-Howell said. “Not to mention if they do not take care of their bodies, they could end up with wear and tear injuries, like stress fractures.”

Most might not realize how different involved athlete’s lives can be, sometimes getting less sleep or having less social time.

“I definitely think my life is different from others since I am involved in multiple sports,” Dill said. “Leaving for school at 6:45 in the morning and then getting back home at the end of the day at 9:30 isn’t exactly typical for most high schoolers.”

Not all students can push their bodies to be able to do so much athletically, therefore it is important for many to remember to put their health first.

“It is good to be active, but listen to your body and take care of your body,” Hoffman-Howell said.

Being in multiple sports can serve as an advantage for an athlete because of the different angles learned in each sport.

“Playing multiple sports has allowed me to experience and compare the different sports that I compete in, which sometimes gives me insight that other players don’t have,” Dill said.

Taking on more than one activity, sport or not, takes a certain kind of person. 

“Katelyn Dill is an amazing student and athlete,” Hoffman-Howell said. “She has always been responsible and communicative with her teachers and coaches to help everyone stay successful.”

Playing many sports can bring disadvantages but Dill’s love for athletics dominates.

“I would say that my motivation for sticking with many sports stems from the competitive nature and love of athletics that I have developed throughout my life,” Dill said. ”I can’t imagine myself uninvolved in sports, and I will continue to compete as long as possible.”



Violet Glenewinkel
HOLDING HER SUCCESS : Junior Katelyn Dill steadies the items that she spends many hours with. Dill plays many sports and plans to continue her involvement into the future no matter what.