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The Gazette KCRG
Posted April 2, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: Washington’s Kamin explains how and why

Cedar Rapids Washington's M.J. Kamin, hitting the ball on the third hole during last spring's MVC Super Meet at Ellis Golf Course, will pull double duty again this spring as a member of the golf and soccer teams. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By M.J. Kamin, Washington junior

CEDAR RAPIDS — The snow has melted for good this time, and as I say goodbye to the snow, I also say goodbye to my free time and possibly my sanity.

I do what many people think is impossible. I play two sports in one season. But how? And why?

How?

I attend soccer practice after school on normal non-game days and I play 36 holes of golf each weekend.

This isn’t the hard part, my golf coach is cooperative when it comes to missing practice because he knows I put in time on the weekends.

The tricky part is soccer games and golf meets. I will miss soccer practice for golf meets, and I will miss golf practice for soccer games. Last year, I attended multiple golf meets then raced over to Kingston Stadium to warm up for my night soccer games. In fact, at the state golf tournament last year, I couldn’t stay for awards — I had to drive home from Des Moines to play in a substate game for soccer.

Why?

Because I love golf and soccer more than any other sports. I’ve been around them my entire life, both are my passions, and I couldn’t imagine having to choose between the two.

I started playing soccer when I was five years old. I played for the YMCA “Fire Ants” with a few other Washington High School students, eventually grew out of the YMCA leagues and tried out for Heartland Soccer Club, where I spent nine years on “Wolfpack” and “Fever” teams. I played club soccer until my sophomore year, when the practices began to interfere with cross country.

I started junior golf at Elmcrest Country Club when I was eight, but I had played long before that. Back in those days, I spent more time chasing squirrels with sticks than actually playing. It didn’t take me long to fall in love after competing in the Club Championships at Elmcrest, and when I was 12 I started playing in the Junior PGA events over the summer.

This summer I plan to compete in Junior PGA, AJGA, WWGA, and USGA events.

Being in two sports isn’t a walk in the park. It is a joint effort, requiring help from my coaches, teachers and parents. I can’t say it is impossible, because I do it — but it takes a large amount of mental and physical toughness.

I encourage people to not give up on something because they don’t have time. It might just require a bit of planning and extra effort.

It’s important to not give up on any of your passions, no matter what gets in the way. I handle my busy schedule one day at a time, because if I think about all I have to accomplish every week, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

For more Washington news and features, go to http://crwashsurveyor.com/

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