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  • Matt Ondesko

Exceeding At The College Level

by Matthew Ondesko Photos courtesy of Medaille Athletics

There are days that you are just tired, but you soldier on. It’s another season and another sport. For most playing one sport is enough - especially in colleges.

With the rigors of a tough academic schedule, athletes usually try to stick to one sport. It’s not uncommon, however, to be a two sport athlete in college. Bo Jackson was a two-sport star at Auburn.

Playing two sports isn’t just tough mentally, but physically as well. An athletes needs to be in great physical shape, and make sure they take care of their body when they have down town.

Medaille College’s Samantha Burlow knows a few things about playing multiple sports. A multi-sport athlete at Buffalo Seminary, Burlow always stayed busy playing cross country and lacrosse.

She knew what it took to keep her body healthy during the offseason, and what to do during the season to stay fit and active.

“I always tell myself mind over matter. Your body can handle a lot and you can be surprised how far you can go, I do not see myself slowing down at all,” stated Burlow. “I feel that I get an experience unlike anybody else. There is a small percentage of student athletes in college and when you put it in that perspective it is a surreal feeling. Being surrounded by my teammates and people from other sport teams is something I will never forget. The friendships I have made because of sports is something that I will always be thankful for.”

Medaille is thankful for the fact that Burlow is playing both sports. A standout lacrosse player in high school, Burlow fit right in as a freshman last year on Mavericks. She also kept her soccer skills intact and got meaningful minutes on the soccer team.

That early playing time has helped her heading into her sophomore season with both sports. Now, Burlow knows what to expect.

“Going into my sophomore year I keep reminding myself that I am no longer a freshman and that I have no more excuses for the “freshman” mistakes,” stated Burlow. “I have so much room for improvement and I look forward to getting to that step in my career.”

It’s a career that has a promising future. Burlow held her on both on the pitch and the lacrosse as a freshman and is ready for a big sophomore year. She has put in the work in the offseason to make sure she was ready physically for the grind of playing both sports.

Burlow made sure she divided her time up, but lacrosse is her true love. She put in the extra work this summer hitting off the wall and other things to make sure she can contribute even more when lacrosse season rolled around.

“When it comes to an offseason, I always give myself at least a one week break to let my body recover,” stated Burlow. “After that week I go to the gym and run a lot. For lacrosse I always try to find a wall to play wall ball just to keep my stick work up.”

It’s a mental game that Burlow, and other two-sport athletes, have to deal with. What sport gets the most attention when you are talented enough to excel at both. The mental burden of trying to exceed at both can be overwhelming at times.

Having not played soccer since she was 9-years old, Burlow won’t lie to you when she said she was a little nervous getting into games. She almost had to trick her mind that it was just like old times.

“Going from soccer to lacrosse there is definitely a transition from the two. This was my first season of soccer since I have been 9-years old, so I was more cautious what I did and more nervous going into games,” stated Burlow. “When it comes to lacrosse it is more of a natural feeling and I have nerves, but they are more secrete because I know my ability and my ability to keep getting better.”

Academically, Burlow is right at home. She comes from a tough academic school in Buffalo Seminary and feels like she had been well prepared for what college has given to her.

While Sem is a smaller school, it has prep school like classes and challenges the students to think outside the box. It wouldn’t be considered a normal high school, or Catholic high school. Sem is there to challenge, and Burlow was up for the challenge.

“Sem is more of a unique place compared to any other high school I looked at. In the end I chose it for academics more than anything. I cannot say anything but great things about Sem, the community Sem has impacted my life for the better and will always be apart of me,” stated Burlow. “Sem prepared me tremendously for academics in college especially with time management. Besides college, Sem has prepared me for life as well, going into high school I had no confidence within myself at all. After high school I am very proud to say that I am a strong, confident, young woman and I can truly thank Sem for that.”


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