Despite the constant drive toward teen sports specialization, there are always those who go against the grain, insisting on playing multiple sports, using their talents in many ways in a variety of sports.
Still, those sports are usually confined in individual seasons … or at least they used to be. Now, with the relaxation of rules governing offseason practices in a number of states, some student athletes are toggling between workouts in multiple sports at the same time.
The ultimate case-in-point to that trend may reside in Pennsylvania, where Philadelphia (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll School senior Ryan Boornazian spent a recent weekend competing and training in three separate sports. As noted by the Philadelphia Daily News' Ted Silary, the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder spent Friday night starting in the backfield for the Carroll football team in a 34-13 victory against Philadelphia (Pa.) Neumann-Goretti High. Hours later he was back in action with the Archbishop Carroll lacrosse team, working out during a training session with the sports he spends a majority of his time and effort in.
Finally, Sunday brought an evening workout with the Carroll hockey team, which opens its season in two weeks, when the Carroll football team will still be in full mid-season mode. Put it all together and Boornazian was stretched across three sports in as many days.
"I know it's a lot, but I love all three sports," Boornazian told the Daily News. "Right after the [football] game, I kind of broke down because my left shoulder has really been bothering me. I knew I had to be out there, though. I have great teammates. Couldn't let them down."
To be fair, the one sport which is currently a true out-of-season endeavor happens to be Boornazian's primary sport, with the teenager gearing up for a collegiate future in lacrosse. A faceoff middie, Boornazian has been one of the bedrocks of Carroll's lacrosse success.
The issue is that the senior suddenly is a big part of the success of the school's football program, too. Boornazian began his final high school season on the offensive line as a severely undersized guard, starting on the line through Carroll's first four games, then shifting into the backfield as a hybrid fullback and halfback. Through two games as a rusher, Boornazian has accumulated 120 yards and a touchdown, paying solid dividends on the Carroll coaching staff's decision to use him as a secondary rusher.
Now, with the Carroll football team beginning to rely on the bruising back, the hockey team is ramping up and expecting the senior to line up on the team's left wing when the season officially opens.
In the meantime, Boornazian and other multisport football players will do their best to keep focus on football as the season rolls along.
"I'm thankful to the people who'd seen me run the ball around here, going back to freshman year, and kept saying, 'At least we should give him a shot.' I'm trying to do my best for all of us."