Playing two varsity sports requires double the committment

Men's curling second Shawn Watt (left) is also a pitcher for Humber's men's baseball team. | Sarah Jagger Men's curling second Shawn Watt (left) is also a pitcher for Humber's men's baseball team. | Sarah Jagger

Willy Phan
Sports Reporter

Humber varsity athletes are among the best in the OCAA, but only a few can brag about being on multiple sports teams.

Humber Hawks Shawn Watt, Carly Uden, and Katelyn Morgan are among the exclusive group of Humber’s versatile varsity athletes.

Watt was second on the men’s curling team and finished with a silver medal at the OCAA curling provincials in February. He was also a pitcher for the Hawks’ baseball team and helped secure a bronze medal in the inaugural OCAA men’s baseball championships in 2013.

“I played baseball in the States all year round,” said Watt. “When I got into Humber, I saw they were trying to start up a curling team and I let them know about my interest.”

The three-time curling all-star said the schedules for the baseball and curling seasons worked in his favour so that he could play both sports.

“It worked out how baseball was during the fall and curling just follows shortly after baseball is over,” said Watt, a third-year criminal justice student.

Uden was named an all-star for the women’s volleyball team this season while serving as one of the best players on the rugby team, said Jim Bialek, Humber’s manager of athletics and sports information.

“I had the privilege to play both rugby and volleyball starting in my first year,” said Uden, a third-year kinesiology student.

Bialek described Morgan as a crossover athlete who was part of the cross-country team before playing rugby in the fall.

“I started off with cross country for two years and I didn’t make the team this year, so I’m like, ‘Oh, try something else,’” said Morgan, a fitness and health student. “I’ve never played rugby before…so I tried out and made the team.”

Morgan said she found the transition from cross-country to rugby to be fairly easy because she already had the endurance from running frequently in her training.

Commitment to two different sports as well as schoolwork is required from student athletes, and scheduling conflicts can create a strain on the player’s obligation to both teams.

Uden said there were conflicting schedules between rugby and volleyball every year and she had to occasionally prioritize one team over the other.

“The more difficult times happened when volleyball season started and rugby was in the playoffs,” said Uden.

“There was a lot of compromising between the coaches and decisions to be made by myself for where I was needed the most.”

Watt and Uden encourage future athletes to take advantage of playing in two sports for the unique experience.

“Playing (with) two sports teams is such a great experience, but you need to make sure that you are willing to commit and give yourself to both teams,” said Uden.

“Every practice, every game…it’s worth meeting new people and friends,” added Watt.