Most Florida A&M University student athletes spend their time focusing on just one sport, because of the long hours of practice, classes and study time, however recently four FAMU students have decided to become dual athletes this season. Derek Shaw, Daniel Lee, Mykel Bensen and Tobias Lee are put their football shoulder pads and helmets to the side and picked up baseball bats and gloves as they geared up for this year’s Rattler baseball season.
Though they were opposite season sports, both football and baseball had demanding schedules.
“Playing two sports you realize you don’t have as much time as everybody else, but you have to make it work.” said, Daniel Lee “In football we have morning training at 5:45 a.m. to work on agility and conditioning and in baseball we have 7a.m. workouts for the same thing as well as class and then right back for afternoon practice,” Tobias Lee.
Head baseball Coach Robert Lucas believed that all four dual athletes were great athletes and could help contribute to them winning a MEAC championship.
“Hopefully they can bring leadership from coach Taylor and his organization as well as commitment, skills and time management to this team.”
Even though there is no official school GPA requirement for an athlete to have participated in both sports, coach Lucas has his own requirement.
“For me I want every kid to have a 2.5 when they graduate and that’s my goal as a coach.” FAMU football head coach Joe Taylor said: “Many student-athletes would like to play dual sports, and even though there is no official dual sport GPA requirement we always look at their transcripts before allowing them to participate.”
All four dual sport athletes said that they have loved both sports as long as they could remember. They have been playing organized sports since their high school days. All four men share one main goal, playing professionally in either sport.
“This is something I’ve been doing all my life. It’s really about knowing what you want to do, setting a goal, and doing it,” said Shaw.
Although it looks like these dual athletes have not been an answer to the Rattlers quest for a MEAC championship this season the players are still in progress to helping the team improve for the future. Derek Shaw has been a highlight of this year’s team so far with an consistent average in the past four games. Shaw stands out among the three with as he dominated in the Rattlers last home stand, against Edward Waters College on April 13. Shaw went four for five from the plate and scored two runs and one RBI.
Even though Rattlers currently have a (7-24-1) record and 11 games left remaining on their schedule they still feel like they will be able to contend for a MEAC Championship this year. These four athletes plan on contributing to the team in any way they can to help them reach the top.