The football team breaks the huddle and jogs off the field after the season’s final game. The drained players hang up their equipment and discuss off season plans. Senior Tommy Lopiparo heads in the direction of the basketball gym just the following day. A few months of constant sprinting and aggressive play on the court later, Lopiparo’s aching legs still have enough energy left to maintain his hustle on the baseball diamond immediately after the conclusion of basketball. For Lopiparo, playing sports all year round has become a constant routine where adapting to a new season and working out on a new field is nothing out of the ordinary.
“Nothing is better than the feeling of energy that you get with suiting up for your games all year round,” Lopiparo said.
Lopiparo, who has been playing several sports since he was inspired by his three multi-sport playing older brothers at a young age, has played football, basketball and baseball throughout his four years at Sequoia.
Due to the recent increase of high school student athletes specializing in a specific sport in order to be more competitive and dominant at their level, many high schools have seen a rapid decline of three sport athletes. Despite this steady fall in athletes who continue to represent their school on the playing field year round, some students meet the challenge of managing time in the classroom as well as taking part in three sports over the course of one school year.
Although playing three sports a year with practices or games five days a week and sometimes games and tournaments on the weekends may seem hard to manage time between spending time out practicing with the time and time in the classroom doing academic work. However, some athletes find that working on homework after a few hours of practice has just become a standard routine.
“The workload for school isn’t much different because for all three sports I pretty much get home at the same time and I have the same amount of time to do my homework. So as long as I know I have to get it done then I’ll do it,” Lopiparo said.
Even with the amount of time Lopiparo puts into doing work for school, his competitive nature is what allows him to also get better on the field.
The timeless work that is put in by these athletes has generated many positive effects, it leads to growth in maturity and leadership not only within a three sport player, but for the team community around them as well.
“In playing multiple sports, you can experience the bonding of teammates in many different forms which allows you to connect quicker even if its all newer kids when you play on another team,” Lopiparo said.
Lopiparo’s not only leadership but also natural competitive nature has created an even greater impact on the teams that he plays for.
“You wish that everybody had his competitive nature and will to bring it every day. And that sort of competitiveness is contagious too which makes his biggest role fueling an intensity and a will to win,” varsity baseball head coach Corey Uhalde said.
With constantly moving from sport to sport all year round and no breaks in between, a potential challenge for some may be the drive to always work hard and have enough passion and motivation to get through every season.
“As a coach, you sometimes sound like a broken record trying to get student athletes to care and give 100 percent. I have never had to ask that of Tommy,” Uhalde said. “Every time he steps on to a field, you know he is giving it everything he has. There is something really cool about knowing that when you turn your back and are focusing on something else that a certain athlete doesn’t need to be watched, and they are always giving their best.”
From developing into a leadership role to a player who continues to strive to work hard and get better and better, there are many reasons why Lopiparo chooses to take on the task that could daunt some of returning to three different sports year after year.
“I can’t ever stay still, I am always out doing something,” Lopiparo said. “I could never imagine myself just going home after school and just sitting there all day. For me its just something to look forward to with having practice every day, five days a week.”