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Three Teams, Two Athletes: Seniors Livi Shull and Carly Kurt balance varsity careers

+++Multi-sport+athletes+Carly+Kurt+and+Livi+Shull+tip+off+their+senior+basketball+campaign+on+Dec.+6+at+Pembroke+Hill.+After+basketball%2C+Kurt+will+play+lacrosse+in+the+spring%2C+and+Shull+will+play+soccer.+Shull+will+be+the+returning+4-1A+goalkeeper+of+the+year%2C+and+Kurt+returns+after+a+junior+season+of+averaging+6.33+goals+per+game.
Kate Pedrotti
Multi-sport athletes Carly Kurt and Livi Shull tip off their senior basketball campaign on Dec. 6 at Pembroke Hill. After basketball, Kurt will play lacrosse in the spring, and Shull will play soccer. Shull will be the returning 4-1A goalkeeper of the year, and Kurt returns after a junior season of averaging 6.33 goals per game.

Dribbling the ball up the court, the stands cheer for seniors Carly Kurt and Livi Shull, players who have played on the court for all four years. After winning three state championships, Kurt and Shull look forward to their last season of girls basketball together.
The two athletes are part of the few in the student body who are connected to three varsity sports this year. Shull and Kurt began their athletic careers together in the fifth grade, playing for Shock recreational basketball.
Shull has played tennis, basketball and soccer for her entire high school career. From three soccer state titles to tennis state performances, basketball is not the only state title for the pair.
Navigating her senior year, Shull’s busy schedule has led her to gain time management skills.
“It’s definitely challenging to have to balance all the schoolwork and having a sport every single day out of the school year,” Shull said. “You definitely have to be able to manage your time and be able to miss school when you have to leave for games.”
According to athletic director Joe Schramp, multi-sport athletes can have an advantage over single-sport athletes, as studies have shown improved muscle development.
“You have to be motivated,” Schramp said. “You have to be pretty emotionally charged because it can wear and tear on both the mental and physical toll. You just have to really want it and have a passion.”
Schramp applauds Shull and Kurt as playing three varsity sports requires endurance to balance elements on and off the court or field.
“You have to be really passionate about all three sports,” Schramp said. “It is a toll on the body; they have to manage their time really well because in high school there’s always homework too.”
In the summer, Kurt participated in toss-around for lacrosse as well as night tennis matches with friends. Kurt also prepared for the upcoming basketball season.
“This year our basketball league was at Shawnee Mission Northwest,” Kurt said. “You would go and play two games and schools like Pembroke.”
According to both Kurt and Shull, the level of competition marks the vast difference between club and recreational teams versus high school competitions.
“In high school, there is more pressure,” Kurt said. “You just want to be successful for the team, and you want to make it to a state championship, whereas our club was not super intense.”
This level of competition aides upperclassmen athletes in welcoming underclassmen to their team, building a stronger community and carrying on kindness in every practice and game.
“I focus on making sure they don’t feel out of place because if you it can limit your ability to perform,” Kurt said. “I do not like if there is a divide, it makes it less of a family.”
Shull recalled early memories in her teams that have stayed with her, like her first soccer state semifinals sophomore year.
“We went into PKs (penalty kicks) and won in PKs and double overtime to go to the state championship,” Shull said. “The next day we won state, and having a lot of my close friends and my whole family there was super nice.”
According to Shull, she has loved her high school sports career but has decided to not play for a college team.
“I’ve loved all the people that I’ve met along the way and all the experiences that have come out of all those sports,” Shull said. “There’s no specific reason, I just wanted to have a normal college experience and not have to worry about a sport. I’ve been playing for a while, it will be 18 years of my life.”
Both athletes are thankful for their school teams but are ready to go a different route.
“I’m just going to play club lacrosse because I would be super overwhelmed with my nursing major and a full-time sport,” Kurt said.
Despite switching directions, athletes keep their experiences and lessons learned from their high school careers.
“You’re not just playing for your team, you’re playing for your school, the people who support your school, and your community,” Shull said. “You need to be able to be a role model to them and show them the ways and the traditions that this school has laid out for us.”

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Bella Dessert
Bella Dessert, Copy Editor

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