At a school in the University Interscholastic League’s lower classifications, playing two, three or even four sports isn’t unheard of. Many coaches and athletic directors prefer it, even.
So it should be no surprise that the Jourdanton Indians have a receiving corps stocked with multisport athletes and they’re helping set the pace of their up-tempo offense that returns 11 starters from a year ago.
“I say this to every kid in Jourdanton, everybody can have their favorite sport, every kid can have their thing and they have that,” head coach Darrell Andrus said. “But you cannot simulate competition in practice. You can’t.
“When you line up against somebody from Karnes City in the 100-meter dash, the triple jump, you line up against them on the pitchers mound, when you line up against them on court, on the football field, it’s about competing. At a small school, you have the opportunity to be good at them all and hopefully by competing and helping yourself grow through those very intense moments, you’re ready for that at the collegiate level.”
Two players who embody that mentality are junior receivers Colton Schuchart and Jarel Lilly. Both are multisport athletes at Jourdanton and both are using their speed to make the Indians a lethal threat in 2019.
“We’re trying to go way faster than we did last year,” Lilly said. “We’re trying to get the defense to not know what we’re doing or what we’re running, not letting them get set up. That’s a bigger advantage for us.”
For Schuchart, a fivesport athlete, he feels the variety of situations he’s been put in from football to golf has helped him become an all-around athlete mentally.
“You learn something from every sport. That’s what I’ve learned from high school and junior high,” Schuchart said. “Football, you learn how to be mentally tough and not let anyone get in your head. Basketball, it’s more about keep going — when you’re tired, just keep pushing. Track, you just get as competitive as you can and try to beat the person next to you. Golf is a really mentally challenging game. There’s so much that could go wrong in golf that you get so frustrated with. But as soon as you overcome that, you’re pretty mentally tough then.”
Schuchart says he uses what he learns in all of the other sports to help him on the baseball diamond.
“That’s what I’ve learned to do and it’s helped me out a lot,” he continued
The offseason has been about get- ting faster for the Indians, not just on the outside either. After their opening practice, quarterback Cole Andrus said he had worked hard to develop as a dualthreat QB rather than just a pocket passer like he’s been his first two years of varsity play.
“We’ve been working on conditioning way more than we were last year,” Schuchart said.
Play on the offensive line has also gotten faster over the offseason, which coach Andrus feels will help the Indians open their run game and make them a balanced offense.
“I think it’s what we’ve been working for since the end of last season,” Andrus said. “I think the opportunity for us to be a balanced offensive attack will be predicated upon our offensive line play and Aidan (Borth) and Robert (Bernie) being able to pound the ball on the interior. But there’s no doubt every defense will have to respect our threat on the perimeter with Colton, Jake (Reyna), Jarrell, Ian (Hancock) and Ryan (Bailey) and Nick (Cordova) can hit you over the middle.”
Andrus noted Jourdanton’s success from their state 7-on-7 appearance over the summer, but knows there’s more to the game than just route running.
“Like I’ve said, there’s no blocking involved with that,” the sixth-year head coach said with a smile. “So (you don’t have) that protection, the run game where you count the box. So if we have single coverage on the outside, we’re sure gonna check to it.”
Andrus is excited for his team to finally line up against an opponent with their scrimmage against Corpus Christi Carroll this Saturday. The scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. at Indian Stadium.