Tuesday, January 25 2022

Will C. Wood High School Kobe Rolling’s goal is to play soccer and baseball at Division I college.

This is an ambitious goal, but it became even more challenging when, due to COVID-19, the California Interscholastic Federation squeezed all high school sports into the 2020-21 season between the end of December and the end of the school term.

This means that football and baseball will converge in 2021. Baseball practice starts on March 8 with the last league game on June 3. Football training starts on February 22nd and the last league match is on May 14th.

With the two sports practically coinciding, which one will Rolling choose?

Elder Kobe Rolling plays for Vacaville’s Admirals baseball club and Will C. Wood’s high school baseball team, where he has been a regular since his freshman year. (Photo contribution)

Both of them.

“CIF is allowing children to play (both) just because it’s a different time right now,” said Wood Athletic Director Andrea Daniels. “They can play overlapping or in the same season. Kobe can go to a soccer game on Monday and then to a baseball game on Tuesday. ”

CIF limits total combined time in multiple sports to 18 hours per week. Races count as three hours.

“The athletic directors did a good job of organizing so that there were no sports overlapping on the same days as best they could,” Daniels said. “For example, if men’s soccer is Wednesday and Friday, men’s baseball is Tuesday and Thursday. If you have a child who plays both sports, he unfortunately doesn’t have a lot of time to practice, but he can still go to games. Let’s say they go to soccer practice an hour and a half and baseball or softball practice is still going on, they can go there. ”

Daniels noted that coaches are generally unable to coordinate training times. Softball and baseball practice must take place immediately after school because the fields have no lights. Football and track share the same field.

“We just have so many facilities and so much time,” he said.

Rolling and his coaches plan to make it work, even if the matches of his two sports fall on the same day.

“Coach (Nick) Voight (baseball) and coach Chavez (Jorge Ruiz-Chavez, football) have allowed me to play both sports this year and I’m very lucky,” said the second baseman and the midfielder. “Let’s say I have a baseball game at 4:30 on Monday and a soccer game at 7:30. If we’re winning big, coach Voight will probably let me leave the game for the soccer match. If we’re down and I have to help the team win, then I might as well stay at the baseball game and tell Coach Chavez that I’ll be late, but I’ll be ready to play. Both coaches agree on this. ”

Rolling and his twin sister, Kylie, started playing football at the age of 4 and were on the same team until the age of 8 when they split into women’s and men’s teams. Kylie plays for Wood’s women’s soccer team, and both she and Kobe were named Offensive Players of the Year in the Monticello Empire League last season. Both were also first team MEL selections.

They also play in the Northern California Olympic Development Program, coached by Ruiz-Chavez. Out of 240 who try, only 45 make it. Selected student-athletes play one tournament in Arizona and one in Oregon.

“We are evaluated by the scouts who select us to go to the regional pool to try to make the national team,” said Rolling.

In his five years on the program, he made it to the regional pool twice. This will be his fourth year starting at Wildcat College. He was co-captain as a junior and helped lead his team to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament last season, the longest a Wood Boys football team has ever achieved in the playoffs.

As the football season was extended by the playoffs, Rolling lost several baseball games before rejoining the team and could only play two games before COVID-19 ended the season. He started on the baseball team from his freshman year.

Rolling plays both sports practically all year round, playing club baseball with the Admirals of Vacaville and football with Davis Legacy.

In a traditional sporting season, high school athletes are not allowed to play in clubs during the school season of a particular sport. But for this year’s COVID, the CIF allows students to reproduce them simultaneously.

“For example, football and volleyball, we are now entering their club season,” explained Daniels. “While we could usually have tournaments on the weekend, we have to take out all those things so they can go to their club. So balance all of that. We still have the same number of games, but it will be difficult to enter them because we will not take a club game away from any of them. ”

What will it be like for Rolling to use his different baseball and football skills in the same season, sometimes even on the same day?

“I’m already a little used to it because I do two days (of training) every day and do it from an early age, where for me it’s just one rep,” he said. “I feel like if I’m training and doing both and applying myself I should do well.”

Has club baseball practice in the afternoon and club football at night. Then, after baseball practice, he grabs his equipment and immediately heads to soccer practice.

When do you find time to study?

“Fortunately this year I only have three lessons per semester,” he said, “so I feel it’s a blessing because I can do my homework right after school.”

On a typical day, he finished his lessons before 1:30 pm, giving him time for homework before baseball practice. He might even sneak into some studios after baseball and before soccer practice at 7:30 pm under the lights of Wildcat Stadium.

Also there is time between lessons. This semester its classes are the first, third and fifth term. The next semester are second, fourth and sixth period. A Zoom class typically lasts an hour and 15 minutes, but teachers can get students out earlier if they complete their classwork.

As Rolling awaits the start of the 2021 high school season, he is training with his club’s football team, but currently has no matches scheduled due to the coronavirus. He is also playing baseball with his club team. They were able to travel to out-of-state tournaments. Before matches, players have a temperature control. During matches, they use hand sanitizers and wear high-neck masks everywhere, including on the pitch.

“It’s different,” Rolling said. “When it’s hot, it sucks. It’s just a tough time to be an athlete right now. It’s strange and it’s not normal. ”

The Reporter will present the characteristics of multiple sports athletes leading up to the official tests in December. For local player ideas, email [email protected]


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