WHS thrives on multi-sport athletes<br>

There have been a few good athletes at Winslow High School who only participated in one sport, but the vast majority of the top athletes here played whatever was in season and did it well.

This year’s football team offers a good illustration of just how much the various sports depend upon the same players for their success.

Senior running back/linebacker Orlando Vargas was a starter on the 2003-04 Bulldogs basketball team and likely will be a key player on this year’s team. He was also an outstanding track athlete last season and is likely to repeat that performance in 2005.

Fellow senior Carlos Quezada is an outstanding receiver and defensive end on the football team and was a valuable player on the basketball team last season.

Senior Lucas Armenta was a valuable player on the basketball team and the 3A North Region Baseball Player of the Year. Although injured for over half of the season, he has made the football Bulldogs much more dangerous with his blazing speed and determination at receiver and defensive back.

Senior Michael Zaitz is a transfer from Peoria, but with the talent he has displayed on the gridiron, it is hard to believe that he won’t show up representing Winslow High on the court, the wrestling mat, the baseball diamond or in track and field.

Senior Jeremy Galaviz has performed well on the football field and will likely be joining the wrestling team when the football season ends.

Junior quarterback Jordan Payne is a perfect example of a valuable three sport athlete. He is the point guard on the basketball team, or will be when his services become available (hopefully after winning a football state championship), and the centerfielder on the baseball team.

Looking at girls’ athletics for a moment, one needs look no further than senior sensation Stephanie Garnett, who just signed for a track scholarship at Arizona State University. Garnett was the 3A North Basketball Player of the Year as a junior, an outstanding volleyball player and is an Olympic quality track athlete. She also would have been one of the best softball players around had she chosen to pursue that sport.

Some will say that a small school like Winslow has to rely on its best athletes playing several sports, but that more might make it at the next level if they specialized and concentrated on only one sport.

Well, it is true that a small school provides a better opportunity for a talented athlete to play several sports. It is highly debatable whether he or she would be better served to specialize. Also, the argument about multi-sport athletes being small school phenomena doesn’t hold up.

Another very positive benefit of this situation is that the coaches and teams all cheer on the school’s representatives in every sport. That is precisely what it takes to have a top-notch athletic program in any school, regardless of its size.

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