COVENTRY TWP. Finding a high school athlete who focuses on one and only one sport is tougher and tougher these days.
Coventry senior Anna Kimevski is among those trying to master multiple sports at once and her summer is emblematic of the effort to get better at both before she plays each for her school this coming school year.
While she’s been a regular at open gyms and team activities for the Coventry volleyball team this summer, Kimevski has also spent plenty of time with the Ohio Wolfpack, her travel softball team.
“I’ve been playing for them for two years now,” Kimevski said. “Two years ago, I had a couple of friends leaving the team I was playing on and I wanted to go with them, so we all tried out for the Wolfpack and we all made it.”
With her new team, Kimevski plays multiple spots on the field, just as she does for Coventry. In travel ball, her most frequent spots on the field are pitcher, third base and outfield, all of which she has played for the Comets as well, noting that with her high school team she “usually plays everywhere besides catcher.”
Softball is the sport Kimevski has played longer, ever since she was in elementary school. She didn’t pick up volleyball until seventh grade, which is typically the age athletes are able to start playing for their school.
When it comes to finding time for both sports during the summer, Kimevski credited the volleyball coaching staff with setting up open gyms at times when most players can make it.
“Our volleyball coach is good about making it easy for us to make it to open gym so we do’t have to miss anything,” Kimevski said. “We have them in the morning and softball is in the evening, there for volleyball there’s really nothing on the weekend.”
Travel softball, as with so many sports in which young athletes compete in AAU tournaments or other similar contests, is largely about trying to gain recruiting attention in an effort to earn a chance to play on the college level. Some squads go all around the region and even the country playing in tournaments in an quest to seek out the best competition and get the most attention for players.
Kimevski’s team hasn’t gone quite that far in their travels this summer, but they’ve still logged plenty of miles and time on the road.
“You try out for the team every year and usually the coach tells you that they want you back before that, then they have tryouts in August and practices throughout the year,” Kimevski said. “But when high school softball starts, we can’t have any contact with our travel team.”
So far this summer, the Wolfpack has gone to tournaments in Canton, Loudonville and Columbus, with more to follow in between now and the end of July.
That’s when the travel ball season ends, which is convenient because tryouts for the Coventry volleyball team are scheduled for Aug. 1. In the days that follow, the team will be finalized and from there, practices and preparation for the upcoming season will begin.
With school slated to start at the end of August, there will be plenty of work to do for Kimevski and her Coventry teammates as they look to follow up on a winning season last fall and post consecutive winning records for the first time in recent school history. The sports cycle for her, as for so many young athletes, never stops turning and often, it’s a matter of scheduling and time management in order to make sure everything is taken care of at the end of the day.
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