Burrell grad balances 3 sports at Penn State New Ken
College Football Videos
Two-sport athletes are few and far between at the college level. Three-sport athletes are almost nonexistent.
Those odds don't seem to bother Penn State New Kensington's Casey Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh, 24, a 2007 Burrell graduate, participates in soccer, basketball and wrestling at the Upper Burrell campus.
Basketball and wrestling are in season.
Normally, the sports that student-athletes participate in during college are the ones they played in high school. While Cavanaugh did play soccer and basketball, he wasn't a wrestler.
“I wrestled up to the eighth grade, then I quit,” he said. “I wanted to focus on soccer.”
The PSNK wrestling team had a low turnout, with only six coming out for the team — not enough to fill a full lineup. According to Cavanaugh, this contributed to his decision to come out for the team. He wrestles in the 184-pound weight class.
“I picked it up to help the school and the program,” Cavanaugh said. “We had a low turnout this year. There weren't too many guys coming out, and the coach approached me and I did it to help the school.”
Cavanaugh said he has struggled to get into wrestling shape.
“It's a totally different sport,” he said. “It's not the same endurance as playing basketball and soccer. It's 100 percent for three minutes.”
PSNK first-year wrestling coach Derek Caldwell is looking forward to Cavanaugh gaining more experience.
“It's been kind of tough at first because of balancing wrestling, basketball and school,” Caldwell said. “It's been kind of a blessing and curse at the same time because he's such a hard worker. He wants to learn a lot on the mat. He's struggled to get on the mat and now that he's been on the mat consistently, he's doing really well.”
Soccer has been Cavanaugh's strong suit, as it was while playing at Burrell, where he helped the Bucs to a section title as a junior and was named an all-WPIAL defender as a senior.
During his freshman year at PSNK, Cavanaugh was a second-team all-conference defender as the soccer team reached the Penn State University Athletic Conference semifinals.
Cavanaugh played power forward during his first semester with the basketball team. This upcoming semester, he will make the switch to shooting guard.
Along with playing three sports, Cavanaugh also has to make time for his studies.
“It's tough,” Cavanaugh said. “The biggest thing is to keep your school up, and everything else falls into place. It's a 12-hour day with classes and team sports.”
While majoring in business marketing, Cavanaugh plans on doing all three sports next year. Come spring 2014, however, he may cut down on his schedule.
Talk about making weight.
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District college football preview: W&J on cusp of 700 victories
- District college notes: Pitt-Greensburg hosting annual run/walk
- Campus clippings: Freeport grad big hit for Clarion volleyball
- Knoch graduate Sanks making impact on volleyball court as freshman
- Jeannette grad Craft makes impressive debut at RB for St. Vincent