Two Sports, One Season

Amy Herff, Crown Writer

Clumps of mud and grass stick to his cleats as he runs down the sideline of the freshly- painted field, wind blowing in his face, and the goal in sight. He kicks the ball high into the air and scores. Moments later, across the street he is preparing for the first football game of the season. This is a typical Friday evening for Matt Darbro (12) as he plays for the Marian Central soccer and the football team. Darbro isn’t just an outstanding athlete in one sport, but two. Being a senior, balancing the two has had its struggles on top of the stress of schoolwork, but in the end Darbro’s dedication and hardwork has paid off tremendously.

Darbro has played soccer since he was young, but freshman year he decided to try something new and kick for the Marian Central Football team. Every fall Darbro must prepare not only for soccer but also kicking for the football team. He has been playing both soccer and football for the past four years at Marian Central. Most of his practices are at the same time which makes his schedule a bit hectic as the season starts. “Balancing two sports was a lot of work during the season, but it was manageable. My coaches were the ones that really made it work, knowing that if I wasn’t at practice, I would be doing work at either football or soccer practice. They accepted that, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help. Doing this throughout all four years really helped me grow as a player throughout the years.”  Choosing practices can be quite difficult for Darbro because of his soccer game schedule. Some weeks he could have up to three soccer games a week and a football game on Friday night. His coaches really helped him to make it to as many games and practices as possible. Darbro reacts to his crazy schedule, “I always was having fun with whatever practice or game I was playing in and will never forget any of them.” Without the support of his coaches and his dedication, the task of juggling two sports would almost be impossible, but Darbro’s constant commitment has made his double sport career possible.

Being a two sport athlete, Darbro’s favorite memory for soccer includes playing his last home soccer game on Senior Night. This night is especially important since it his last time playing for his team here at Marian.  His favorite football memory was making a touchdown-saving tackle in his game against Joliet Catholic Academy. This moment means a lot to Darbro because he usually doesn’t get to tackle since he just kicks for the team. As a senior Darbro has been awarded the Northwest Herald All Area Team and the ESCC All Conference Player for soccer as well as the Northwest Herald All Area Team for football. Darbro has not only balanced the two sports for the past four year, but he also has excelled by winning numerous awards.

Darbro has set an outstanding example for future students at Marian who wish to play two sports in one season; he has also learned to create balance in his own life. However, in college balancing two sports is much more difficult. There is more pressure from coaches, more classes, and a lot of practices to attend. Darbro had to make an uneasy decision on which sport to continue in his college career, but in the end he decided to continue his soccer career. Darbro will be attending Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin next fall and playing for the soccer team with the hope of making more memories and achieving as much as possible.