To the track and field

Multisport athletes aren’t anything new at Cedar Shoals. For example, several football players pivot to basketball for the winter season. A lesser known trend includes the transition of cross country runners and soccer players. 

Junior Youssef Gaballa plays junior varsity soccer and runs varsity cross country. He has participated in cross country for five years and played soccer for ten.

“Running doesn’t help much in terms of ball skills, but it helps me become faster and learn how to handle schoolwork while also doing athletic events,” Gaballa said.

His conditioning earned Gaballa 4th place at the Riverside Military 3 Mile Challenge with a time of 11:49 on the JV mixed 3000 meter race. 

Freshman Parker Burnside has seen the benefits of dual sport participation, playing soccer for four years and running cross country for two. 

“Running cross country and playing soccer has made me do better academically and also emotionally,” Burnside said, “Playing sports has made me feel happier and has put me in a better mood.” 

Throughout the season, cross country head coach Justin Rebitch notices the improvements from his runners who also play soccer.

“The runners that I have that play soccer, you can already tell that they are pretty well-conditioned. So usually if they do come here to run, they’ve played soccer in the past,” said Rebitch. “They usually already have a step up on their conditioning.” 

Gaballa hopes to improve his 5000 meter personal time of 18:39 on Tuesday, October 15 at the Clarke-Oconee Area Cross Country Championships. Burnside’s goal is to beat his previous 5000 meter personal time of 23:04 from the Apple Hawkins Invite.