LINCOLN, Calif. (KTXL) — A month after the California Interscholastic Federation announced all high school sports in California would be pushed back until 2021, many of the state’s 800,000 student-athletes had to re-think how it would work for them.
For athletes who play multiple sports, the delay can make competing especially difficult.
J.T. Willis is a Fighting Zebra for Lincoln High School through-and-through.
“He’s the starting quarterback on the team. He’s positioned to play 3-guard in basketball, and he’s an outfielder and pitcher for his baseball team,” J.T. Willis’s father Mark Willis told FOX40.
The high school senior said he wants very badly to play on all three teams for probably the last time when high school sports in the state resume near the start of the new year.
“Yep, it’s going to be hard but I’m going to try and make it work,” J.T. Willis said with laughter.
Football practice is slated to begin in December and J.T. Willis will face a football season that will last until late March 2021.
About a month before football ends, he’ll begin playing basketball and about two weeks later, the school’s baseball team will begin working out for their season.
“Oh, it’s going to be super tough. I’m just going to have to,” JT. Willis said. “In between classes, whenever I have a break, I’m going to do whatever. Maybe throw a little bit, go hit in the cages, shoot in my front yard. It’s going to be tough but I’m going to try and make it work.”
“He’s a great student. He knows how to prioritize very well. He doesn’t have to worry about work or anything like that so he can focus on his studies and sports. And it’s going to take some sacrifice and take a lot of structure and planning as well.” Mark Willis said.
At its peak, J.T. Willis will practice or play either football or baseball with the Fighting Zebras in the afternoons, and then move on to basketball in the early evenings.
The CIF allows student-athletes to participate in a total of 18 hours of sports per week.
What J.T. Willis is trying to accomplish can be done with the help and understanding of coaches, teammates and his parents.
“He’s dedicated to his teammates and his team, so he doesn’t want to bail out on anybody. So, that’s why he really wants to play all three. He wants to do it for himself and he wants to do it for his teammates and his coaches,” Mark Willis said.
“I’m just happy I get to have a senior season, that’s it. Even if it’s 2021, I just want to have a season,” J.T. Willis said.
J.T. Willis told FOX40 his best sport, the one he could end up with a college scholarship, is football. He says he needs his senior season to be recruited.