What ever happened to the well-rounded athlete? Famed Deion Sanders excelled at both baseball and football and played on championship quality teams in both leagues. Jackie Robinson may be most well-known for being the first African American to play baseball, but did you know he played football, baseball, track and basketball in high school? In fact, baseball was considered one of his weaker sports. What happened to just enjoying sports because they were fun?
Three sport athlete Neycer, a student at Stafford Junction and Drew Middle School, is redefining what it means to be a member of multiple teams all while maintaining respectable grades, good nutrition habits and caring for his mother with cancer. Neycer has attended Stafford Junction (a local non-profit working with low income families and at-risk youth) since he was young, he has been active in their afterschool tutoring program, summer camps, sports camps and enjoyed more meals than he can count.
Originally a wrestler, Neycer ended the ’16-’17 school year third in the county personally while bringing his school team to a respectable fourth. Wrestling was his first passion and this is largely due to a strong coach as well as great mentor in Greg, Stafford Junction staff that transports athletes and ensures that they have the nutritional and physical components needed to succeed. Neycer says the hardest part of wrestling is maintaining weight, especially when there are donuts and sodas readily available. Wrestling has most definitely taught him self-control and he is pleased to own the title of “Most Improved”.
New this year, Neycer branched out to include football and track and field to his resume of sports teams. Early in the season, he found himself injured and on the sideline, he was frustrated and felt like he was letting his team down, but he took the time to heal and came back stronger than ever. His passion for the game quickly grew to include his teammates and an increased interest in grades. Though the school team didn’t rank in the county, Neycer is particularly pleased with the one touchdown scored by Drew Middle as he ran along the running back to protect him. He stacked up 8 ½ sacks, 9 passing blocks and a whopping 27 tackles throughout the fall season all of which earned him the award of MVP of the team!
When it came time for spring sports, Neycer still didn’t quit… he knew he had a good arm and he could throw so why not go three for three and that landed him in the shotput division of the Drew Middle School Track and Field team. His training included a great deal of weight lifting in order to achieve his farthest throw at 36.6 feet. That throw earned him a highly coveted spot at the All County Track and Field Competition where he placed 9th, he was beat out of the All Regional Competition by a mere inch.
Neycer’s story isn’t all that common, it’s the story of a kid that has a heart for sports and an attitude that will help him achieve great things in life. More so than that, he hasn’t let society’s definition of him decide who he is… he isn’t just another at-risk, low income kid letting his neighborhood and bank account define him. He’s working towards his own goals, his own dreams and what a blessing that Stafford County Schools and Stafford Junction are there to walk along the journey with him!