Adrian Boys Football and Cross Country Enjoying Dual Sport Athletes

ADRIAN – Dual sport in any sporting season is difficult.

As players move up the ranks from prep sports to college sports to pros, it becomes increasingly rare.

In high school however, one bond between teams that worked for Adrian in fall sports was the bond between his men’s soccer and cross country teams, as over the years there have been a number of regular best runners who have worn their football kits. as much as their cross-country uniforms.

“We’ve been working and adjusting our schedule a bit to allow our athletes from both sports to get involved as much as they can,” said Adrian’s boys soccer coach Ted Hanosh. “There are times when they are a little late for practice and like any other kid, if they know they have a conflict, we try to adjust the schedule so we can keep as many people as possible in training.”

One who has done both in recent years is junior Aiden Smith. While the speedster was somewhat overshadowed in both programs early in his high school career by names like Mitchell Hanosh on the football field and Nathen Letson on the cross-country courses, he became arguably the one of, if not the best, athlete of both teams.

“(Playing both sports) benefits me physically and it strengthens the mental state,” Smith said. “If you’re weak at cross country and you haven’t had a good run and you come and play football and you win a game, that lifts you up a bit more and gives you more confidence.”

Smith, who is the reigning county cross-country runner of the year, plays midfield for the football team and has been one of the team’s top threats to start 2021 because during the the team’s first five games, he has six goals, two coming in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Tecumseh, and seven assists for a total of 19 points and was the team’s leading rusher in cross country. of Adrian in a season where he was ranked first in Division 2 in a pre-season poll.

“I was always the person that went back and forth throughout the game,” Smith said. “That’s what really pushed me into cross country. I started playing football when I was little, then my mom made me run, and then, boom, I started doing both. I’ve been playing both since sixth grade and love both sports.

Smith isn’t the only cross country member to dual-sport with football and the team, as a pair of defensive backs, senior Aidan Bell and junior Ben Schefka, also wear both the cross country uniform. -country and Adrian’s football kits.

“It’s a little tough to do, but Ben, (Aidan) and I all take tough classes,” Smith said. “I think it will also help us for the future with time management and all that.”

Adrian's Aiden Smith runs during the 2021 Lenawee County preview in Tecumseh. [Telegram photo by Deloris Clark-Osborne]

Cross-country skills paid off on Wednesday.

“We played last night and Tecumseh played last night, and Aiden is going to be running around people on day two when we’re playing back to back,” Hanosh said. “He’s in fantastic shape, so that’s one of the big advantages, he’s in great shape and can run. To have that is a great bonus, and we’re trying to adapt.

“Coach (Tom) MacNaughton is doing the same thing, because we don’t want to overwork the kids, so we’re making adjustments to make sure we’re not duplicating the kids and trying to make sure they stay healthy so that both the teams can benefit from it and the children can benefit from it too.

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