Juggling sports

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 27, 2011

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School senior Tanner Martin’s days are currently jam packed.

He spends his mornings before school dribbling a basketball while practicing for the ACCS basketball team, he then goes to school all day and finally spends his evenings dribbling soccer balls while practicing for the Rebels’ soccer team.

“I play basketball, baseball and soccer,” Martin said. “I just try to keep my grades up and work hard at both (basketball and soccer right now).”

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Martin spends over 12 hours a day at ACCS either practicing or studying, and he said some days can be tough.

“I just wake up and try not to be late to basketball,” he said. “Then I try to stay awake in school. During free periods I do most of my work and at night.”

Martin is not the only Rebel athlete that deals with this hectic schedule, however. In fact, nine players are currently participating in both soccer and basketball at ACCS.

“Nine out of 13 players (on the basketball team) play soccer,” ACCS head basketball coach Rick Fife said. “We are able to coordinate (the schedules).”

Fife said he and ACCS soccer coach Jim Allgood have a method for keeping the players rested enough to be able to perform in both basketball and soccer games.

Martin said he works hard to stay in top shape for each sport.

“I run, practice, workout and do what I have to do,” he said.

Last season Martin did not have to deal with both sports, however.

“Tanner decided to concentrate on soccer last year,” Fife said.

“I wanted to try something new,” Martin added. “It seemed fun, and I felt like I wanted to play it.”

Last season was Martin’s first on the soccer team, and he said he missed basketball almost immediately after the season started.

“I love both of them,” Martin said.

Fife said he know pretty quickly that Martin was missing basketball.

“I was kind of shocked (when he told me),” Fife said. “But I granted his wishes. By halfway through the year he started asking questions about basketball, and when the sign-up period came (for this year), he was the first one in the door.”

Martin said he wanted to return to basketball to take full advantage of his senior seasons.

“It’s my senior year, and I wanted to play every sport I could,” he said.

Fife said Martin was able to participate in summer workouts for basketball, and he was also able to play pick-up games to keep most of the rust off.

“I’d say he’s about 80 percent now,” Fife said. “I expect by Christmas (he will be back to 100 percent). It’s just his shot and the pace of the game. He gets too fast trying to make things happen.”

Martin also plays for the Rebels’ baseball team, and not only does he have variety in the sports he plays, he also has variety in what he brings to each team.

“I play everywhere, anywhere,” he said.

Martin also considers himself a leader on the basketball court.

“I talk to (the younger players) and tell them what they are doing wrong,” he said.

Once January rolls around, Martin will add baseball practice to his already busy daily schedule, but he says he is ready for that challenge as well.