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Juggling Multiple Sports In Same Season

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Balancing sports with school work can be difficult enough for high school students. But what happens when students take on several sports in the same season?

"We encourage our kids to be involved in more than one sport," said Brent DeBoer, Tea Area Activities Director.

DeBoer says it's an accomplishment for students to balance multiple sports during the same season.

"It is a challenge for me to make sure that I schedule activities because we have multiple kids in multiple sports," said DeBoer.

Whether it's soccer and football, or golf and cross country, things can get complicated. This week, members of the Tea Area Football Team are switching gears to play in the State Soccer Tournament in Aberdeen, and will miss Friday night's game.

"Generally, we look at our scheduled events and we try to make it so that students who want to participate in multiple activities for their high school have the opportunity to do so. And primarily keeping state events away from one another," said John Krogstrand, of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

But there are times when overlap is unavoidable, and choices have to be made by coaches, athletic directors, and possibly players.

"I think that's always going to be an issue," said Rich Jensen, President of South Dakota Soccer Association.

Despite the unavoidable overlap of sporting events and other activities, students are encouraged to take on as much as they feel they can manage.

"I firmly believe that kids should be involved in as much as they can handle. As much as they can do rather than specialize in one thing," said Jensen.

Athletics officials on the state and local levels do their best to make sure students get that opportunity.

"It takes a lot of patience on everyone's part, but it's great to see our kids involved in more than one activity, great to see them succeed in more than one activity, great to see them want to be involved in more than one activity," said DeBoer.

DeBoer says he tries to keep tough decisions out of students' hands as much as possible.

"If you have multiple athletes there are going to come times where the decision is even out of their hands. It's set by the state and then we do what we have to do," said DeBoer.

"I suppose the answer would be a student has to focus on just one sport and that's it," said Jensen.

Students will continue to have the opportunity to choose as many sports and activities as they want.

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