Gynson Robley knows what it’s like throw footballs one day and chase down rebounds on a basketball court the next.
The Indian Creek High School senior is one of the many Johnson County athletes who quickly shift attention from their fall sport of choice to the winter sports season.
Rarely is it easy due to the requisite rust.
“Going from football to basketball there are completely different obstacles to tackle. You’ve got to work hard and keep your body in shape,” said the 6-foot-5 Robley, who as the Braves starting quarterback watched his season end Oct. 30 — or 10 days before the first day of basketball practice.
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“Sometimes during football season I will go on the track and run a mile or two. Or I’ll go to the gym once or twice a week to shoot some baskets. I never thought about giving up on either sport. I’ve played both since I was 4 years old.”
Every scenario is different for retraining one’s muscles in a relatively brief period of time. Some athletes shift from tennis to swimming, others volleyball to basketball or maybe football to wrestling.
Center Grove junior Val Clark is coming off a cross-country season in which she was the Trojans’ No. 1 girls runner as well as a state finalist (she finished 48th out of 207 runners).
Now she’s immersed in all things basketball. This means a change both in Clark’s running pace, the surface on which she runs as a backup guard and, perhaps most importantly, getting her shot back.
Like Robley, she sneaks in some gym time throughout the course of the fall sports season to better prepare herself for basketball season.
“My main sport is basketball, so even when I’m running cross-country I usually go to open gyms so that I can play two to three times a week. My main goal is to pursue a (college) basketball scholarship, so I always have to stay on top of what I need to work on,” Clark said.
“Cross-country means everything to me when I’m in-season, but basketball is my priority.”
Running in the fall is a great way for Clark to maintain or perhaps even improve her level of conditioning. Once the basketball season concludes, she shifts back to a strictly running mindset as a member of the school’s track team.
Being a three-sport athlete makes Clark something of a dinosaur.
“At times it can get stressful, especially in the postseason. It always works out in the end because I have great coaches,” she said.
Greenwood senior Maddy Renfro achieved this same trifecta — varsity letters in cross-country, basketball and track — as a sophomore but hasn’t done so since.
Her transition will include switching from one of the Woodmen starting guards in basketball to someone valued in track in no less than three events (3,200 relay, 800, 1,600 relay).
“Basketball is actually a lot harder on your body, but I think it’s a pretty easy transition because there is a lot of running in both. In cross-country and track you’re focused on just running, but with basketball you’re trying to get your shot back, too,” Renfro said.
The time separating Mackenzie Blazek’s favorite sports proved to be about as brief as can be.
A 6-2 sophomore at Whiteland Community High School, Blazek is a force both for the volleyball and basketball programs.
“We were eliminated in the first round of the (volleyball) sectional, and the very next day we had basketball practice,” Blazek said. “I got used to it pretty quickly. Going from one to the other is kind of like second nature.”
The same holds true for Center Grove senior Drew Conrad, the team’s punter who because of the Trojans qualifying for the Class 6A state championship game will start his basketball season a little later than usual.
Conrad, whose role on the football team doesn’t include much running, notes his biggest adjustment is working through the aches that come with the initial days of basketball practice.
“The first week or two there’s a lot of soreness, muscles I haven’t used since early summer. I try to shoot 50 to 100 free throws in my driveway every day if I can,” Conrad said. “I like both sports a lot and representing my school and my community.”
Isabelle Andersen — Soccer and basketball
Devin Baxter — Football and wrestling
Val Clark — Cross-country and basketball
Drew Conrad — Football and basketball
Lucas Doyle — Football and basketball
Parker Ferguson — Football and basketball
Jonah Hays — Football and wrestling
Cory Heinrichs — Football and wrestling
Gleason Mappes — Football and wrestling
Rhett Mappes — Football and wrestling
Don Mason — Football and wrestling
Ella Thompson — Soccer and basketball
Connor Walsh — Cross-country and swimming
Jacob Willis — Football and wrestling
Jacob Atha — Football and basketball
Makenzie Hill — Golf and basketball
Brianna Howard — Volleyball and basketball
Addison Lollar — Cross-country and basketball
Vanessa McManaway — Golf and basketball
Kyle Pendleton — Tennis and basketball
Kierra Richards — Golf and basketball
Megan Rooks — Volleyball and basketball
Marcus Ruch — Football and basketball
Allie Schooler — Volleyball and basketball
Abigail Scrogham — Golf and basketball
Shane Smith — Football and basketball
Mariah Weddle — Golf and basketball
Emma Westerfeld — Golf and basketball
Justin Beasley — Football/soccer and basketball
Trevor Vancleeve — Soccer and basketball
Bryce Wentzell — Soccer and basketball
Maci Eads — Soccer and basketball
Sarah Sullivan — Soccer and basketball
Allison Barnard — Soccer and basketball
Delanie Hill — Soccer and basketball
Makenna Bertsch — Soccer and basketball
Madeline Daily — Golf and swimming
Dominic Alvey — Football and wrestling
Manny Cheam — Football and wrestling
Jacob Lamping — Football and wrestling
Alec MacLennan — Football and wrestling
Jake Moore — Football and wrestling
Ranger Soots — Football and wrestling
Jacob Rockey — Tennis and basketball
Carly Sandrock — Cross-country and swimming
Gynson Robley — Football and basketball
Bryce Hogue — Football and basketball
Max Murr — Football and swimming
Cody Hart — Tennis and swimming
Nick Clevenger — Football and wrestling
Jordan Summers — Football and wrestling
Elijah Dunn — Football and wrestling
Joe Clevenger — Football and wrestling
Grant Goforth — Football and wrestling
Brad Trietsch — Football and wrestling
Baylee Wilson — Volleyball and basketball
Mackenzie Blazek — Volleyball and basketball
Tommy Copeland — Football and wrestling
Matthias Ebeyer — Football and wrestling
Brandon Perry – Football and wrestling
Anthony Schantz — Football and basketball