Tackling the two-sport challenge

Tackling the two-sport challenge

Alex Wertz

For seniors Lenny Belew and Mitch Ward, fall is much busier than it is for most of their classmates. For those of you who don’t already know, Lenny and Mitch are members of both the Varsity Soccer team and the Varsity Football team during this Fall sports season. Between going back-and-forth from soccer and football practices while also keeping their grades up, both are very busy guys.

Lenny and Mitch are important players on both teams. For soccer, Lenny is a defender and Mitch is backup striker. Just by looking at him, Mitch looks more like a football player than he does a soccer player. After putting in some notable work in the weight room last year with Elder lifting legend David Stamper, Mitch has managed to pack on a good amount of muscle (about 15-20 pounds since sophomore year, according to Mitch).

I sat down with the captain of the varsity soccer squad, Joey Sabato to talk about Mitch. Although Sabato is very confident in his own abilities, when asked if he could stand a chance if forced to fight Mitch Ward, the answer was a blatant “no way.”

Mitch makes his way out to the pitch for his first Varsity Soccer match.
Mitch makes his way out to the pitch for his first Varsity Soccer match.  courtesy of Mitch Ward

As most of us know by now, Lenny has always been known for his kicking strength. Belew has been a member of varsity soccer since sophomore year, and just recently joined varsity football last season. Belew has managed to impress a great amount of Elder fans and players during football games with the range of his kicks.

However, I recently sat down and asked senior fullback Jarod Frey about Lenny’s most impressive characteristic on the field. Jarod replied, “I’m just always amazed that his helmet never messes up his flow game. Just a phenomenal thing really.”

I’m just always amazed that his helmet never messes up his flow game. Just a phenomenal thing really.”

— Jarod Frey

Belew kicks off the season versus Oak Hills.
Lenny kicks off the season versus Oak Hills. photo courtesy of EHSports

Although playing two sports during one season seems to be quite demanding, Belew and Ward have been having fun so far. When asked about the flexibility of practice schedules, Lenny responded by saying that the coaches are understanding of their schedules and support their commitments to both teams. By being members of two teams, they have been able to make a good amount of friends on both teams. When asked who their favorite teammates were, both responded bynmentioning Alex Willenborg, Brett Singler, and Jarod Frey from football and Josh Hertsenberg and Eric Groll from soccer.

Overall, what Mitch and Lenny are doing is no small feat. They’ve given a lot of their time and efforts to sports at Elder. Both are currently unsure of where they want to go for college, but I’m sure any college would love to have a guy that would be willing to give it his all for his school like these two-sport Panthers.