LACY LAKEVIEW, Texas — When it comes to high school athletics, partaking in a variety of sports brings a variety of benefits.
"Playing multiple sports helps me with my footwork, and it helps me stay in shape so I won't get behind in other things,” Connally junior athlete Trent Pullen said.
"Everything that we do over here, it goes over to the field as well,” Connally junior athlete Korie Black said.
At Connally High School, athletes don't shy away from the challenge of branching out into different sports.
"If they've got the ability to play basketball, football, run track, baseball, we're going to do whatever we can to get those young men involved,” Connally head basketball coach Quinton Snell said.
It's not uncommon for high school football players to play basketball. In Connally's classification, Class 4A, basketball teams typically have around two to six football players on their roster.
However, what makes Connally unique is that 10 out of the 13 players on the Cadets' basketball team also play football.
"It's just something we believe in. We got here in March of 2015 and it’s something I've said since day one: If we’re going to be good in everything, our best players need to play everything,” Connally athletic director and head football coach Shane Anderson said.
Connally's best players execute Anderson's plan.
All 10 of those 13 basketball players who step on the gridiron, also participate in track and field. Three of those multi-sport athletes hold multiple Division I college football offers.
Clearly, college coaches are taking notice.
“All of them, first question they ask is obviously their grades and what their transcript looks like. The second question they usually ask is 'what other sports do they play?'” Anderson said.
"They really look for my body language, that's one of them. They also look to see if I'm a leader or not and also my effort too. They like to see if you've got good effort on the court,” Black said.
Whether you're playing two sports or four, the coaches at Connally want every athlete to get the most out of their time in high school.
"I think the biggest deal is that you're only in high school one time and you don't want to have any regrets," Anderson said. "Especially coming in as a freshman, you don't know what you're good at. The biggest deal for me is I want them to have the best high school experience they can have and not have any regrets."