Doubling up, playing two sports in one season; HCPS changes athletic policy


Finley Lavin races to get a ball against North East. The Hawks came out on top in this game. PHOTO CREDIT: CINDY SHUM

Emily Johnson, IDR Editor

   Which game should people go watch? Football or soccer? Volleyball or the cross-country meet? While you can’t always watch two sports at once, it’s now possible to play two sports in the same season for HCPS students.

  This decision was made by the athletic legislative committee, that of which is made up of high school athletic directors and principals. It was proposed last March and finalized in May.

   Senior Finley Lavin is currently the only NH student that participates in two sports throughout one season. In the fall, she participates in cross country as her main sport, and soccer as her secondary sport. According to Lavin, “be(ing) able to play two sports I love at one time.” is her favorite part of being a dual athlete. However, she has found that “A decent amount of meets and games have conflicted,” making it difficult to play soccer. Lavin believes that while she enjoys playing both sports at once, it is important to consider the stress that is put on the athlete’s body. 

  Lavin’s soccer coach, Mrs. Ora Cummings, commented on the athlete, stating that “On our team, the response has been very positive.”, and that they have quite a bit of respect towards her. While Lavin attends soccer practice just once a week, the orthopedic physical therapist believes that it is “imperative that coaches and the player respect the idea of proper rest and recovery” to avoid not only physical injury, but mental unwellness too.  Cummings believes that “there has to be a clear expectation by all parties involved,” and that communication is key when participating in two sports. She does not feel it is for everyone, and that any dual athlete is “more than likely someone who is a dedicated and coachable team player” and can balance a busy schedule as well.  

  Athletic director Mr. Justin Martinek stated, “I really like the idea of athletes being able to play two sports in a season.” Martinek also said that he had proposed this change to the Athletic Committee for Harford County, to create more opportunities for student athletes. Our county is behind, due to other counties across the state of Maryland already having made this change. However, there are specific requirements, Martinek said, that must be followed, such as the athlete signing a contract and “the coach from each sport must agree.”

    Martinek predicts that a conflict that may arise is fluctuating between practices. Students “are only allowed to practice one sport per day,” according to their contract.