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Multi-sport athletes shine in Miss-Lou

NATCHEZ — In the Miss-Lou many high school student-athletes participate in multiple sports.

In Mississippi, 96,604 combined boys and girls high school student-athletes participated in sports in the 2018-19 school year.

Among the 96,604 student-athletes were 22,440 football players, 17, 040 combined boys and girls basketball players, 7,855 baseball players and 6,290 combined girls slow- and fast-pitch participants, according to the National Federation of High School Associations.

Eight or more Mississippi high school student-athletes play multiple sports in Mississippi. Adams County Christian School has two or more student-athletes who play multiple sports.

Tripp Cotten plays baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer and runs track and field for the ACCS Rebels. Alongside Cotten is teammate Rhet McDonald, who plays football and baseball for the Rebels as well.

“The benefit of participating in multiple sports is the bond I form with a bunch of teammates and coaches,” Cotten said. “There is discipline in every sport, and I have always been an active kid all of my life.”

Three miles away from ACCS, Allie Feltus, Gracie Foster, Sam Mosby and JT Taylor all involve themselves in multiple sports for Cathedral High Green Wave.

Feltus is on the Emerald Tide dance team, plays softball, basketball and is on the track and field team. In track and field, Feltus throws the discus and shot put for the Lady Green Wave. In the past two seasons for Cathedral, Feltus has placed second at the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools track and field State meet.

“I love being part of a team and working with other people in my school,” Feltus said. “That’s really how I express myself and I enjoy playing sports very much.”

On the boys’ side, Taylor and Mosby and more Green Wave student-athletes, play multiple sports. Mosby and Taylor are both on Cathedral’s basketball and football team.

At Natchez High School, three or more high school students involve themselves for the Bulldogs. James Singleton and Kya Singleton both play basketball for Natchez High. James Singleton also plays football while Kya Singleton cheers and plays tennis for the Lady Bulldogs.

Another Natchez High student-athlete playing multiple sports is Damien Newman, who plays football and soccer for the Bulldogs. On the football team, Newman played at the inside linebacker and on the soccer field he is a forward for the Bulldogs. For the football team, he collected eight tackles during the season. Newman said he hopes to either play football or soccer in college.

“I like to be active a lot and I always wanted to play sports, ever since I was in middle school,” Newman said. “I first started playing football and soccer when I was a freshman. Next year, is my last year of playing both sports in high school.”

According to NFHS, 24, 595 combined boys and girls high school student-athletes participated in sports in Louisiana during the 2018-19 school year. There were 19, 629 football players, 13,121 combined boys and girls basketball players, 8,454 baseball players and 6,295 softball players.

Kylyn Lewis plays both football and basketball for the Ferriday High School Trojans. Lewis was on the LHSAA Class 2A state championship team last season. For the Trojans, Lewis racked up 32 tackles, three sacks and caused two fumbles.

About 8.2 miles down U.S. 425 South, Vidalia High Vikings Sema’J Hayes also played football this past season and caught the football three times, totaled 48 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. After football season, Hayes goes right into basketball and then into baseball. To keep himself on point, Hayes said he has a schedule to follow.

“My mom taught me to always have a schedule and follow my schedule as much as possible,” Hayes said. “Lately it has been working out. My schedule is go to school, after school I go home and rest. Then, I get ready for practice and then come home and get to bed at 9 p.m.”

Layla McCall is among 6,378 girls who participate in dance in Louisiana. McCall is a senior at Monterey High School. For dance, McCall travels to Jena, Louisiana, and competes on the Epic Royals team. McCall also is on the Monterey High track and field team and the Monterey High Elites dance team. Layla McCall said she enjoys being athletic and finds it boring not to be involved in sports.

“One of the benefits I involve myself in multiple sports is that it helps to try different things and know what I want to do,” McCall said. “Each sport teaches you different things and you get to learn different abilities. I think learning the different abilities is really helpful.”