If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at the University of Richmond, imagine playing a Division I sport on top of that. Then imagine playing two.
This is the reality for junior Jordan Schulefand and freshman Lindsey Frank.
Schulefand, a finance major from Parkland, Florida, has played for the UR baseball team since his freshman year and joined the football team last fall. Frank, from Saratoga Springs, New York, plays field hockey and lacrosse.
Schulefand pitches and plays in the outfield. He joined his first baseball team when he was five years old and started football when he was seven years old, although he said he had been playing both with his father ever since he could walk. Schulefand continued to play both sports in high school. Though baseball has always been his priority, Schulefand said when he had lost his last high school football game he had known he didn’t want it to be his last.
Frank said she had started field hockey and lacrosse in third grade and had played ever since.
“As I got more serious into the [college] recruiting process, that’s when I realized I couldn’t really see myself playing one sport without the other,” she said. “I decided to explore the idea of playing two sports and to see if it was possible. And I found places that it was, and Richmond was one of them.”
Frank was one of three freshmen who consistently started for the women’s lacrosse team this past season. She also started on the field hockey team.
“[Frank is] a tremendous athlete in both sports,” said Allison Kwolek, the women’s lacrosse head coach. “She’s somebody that is really well skilled, she’s got a really good first step, she’s fast, she’s got a great lacrosse IQ, so all of that combined makes her into an incredibly impactful player for us.”
Colleges had recruited Schulefand for football and baseball, and, like Frank, he wanted to choose a school where he could play both, he said.
“I tried to find a place, at least for baseball, where I felt like I could put myself in the best position to play immediately,” he said. “I wanted to play as a freshman… And once I got here for baseball, I was like, ‘I want to try to play football.’”
Schulefand said he wanted to establish himself on the baseball team to ensure that he could eventually miss baseball practices during football season and still play in the spring. That’s why he waited until his junior year to try football, he said.
Schulefand met with baseball head coach Tracy Woodson and football head coach Russ Huesman during the spring of 2019 to discuss his plans.
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“[Schulefand is] a hard-nose, stubborn as hell, but he knows what he wants and he is gonna put in the extra work to get it,” Woodson said.
Woodson said he had been hesitant because of the football injury risk. But Schulefand said he had convinced Woodson to give Schulefand the opportunity to play two sports.
“Once they decided to give me a [football] scholarship, I knew that they were serious about it,” Schulefand said. “And I was like: ‘I’m in. I’ve been waiting for this for my whole career.’”
Frank practices field hockey six days a week in the fall, with a similar schedule for lacrosse in the spring, she said. During field hockey season she would have practice from 8-10 a.m. before class, she said, but her lacrosse schedule was a bit more intense.
In the spring, lacrosse activities would typically all be in one block of the day, she said, which could look like a practice, then lift, then scout — when the team analyzes clips of the opposing team — and then a team activity or meeting. This could go from 1 p.m. until almost 5 p.m.
Frank doesn’t think her schedule is too different than that of any other athlete on campus. The only difference, she said, was that she missed off-season workouts.
“You just have to find a routine that works for you,” she said. “When it comes to schoolwork, I know I have a block in the day where it’s just mainly getting my homework done and stuff like that. I think that’s really important, just the way you can plan out your day-to-day.”
Frank and Schulefand both agreed that staying organized and developing a routine came naturally to them since they had busy high school sport schedules.
Unlike Frank, who said she solely focused on field hockey in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, Schulefand said he still focused on baseball during football season.
Last fall during football season, Schulefand woke up for 6 a.m. meetings, had practice from 7:30-9:30 and then quickly showered and grabbed breakfast before his 10:30 class, he said. When he finished classes at 1:15, he grabbed lunch and then practiced hitting for baseball if he didn’t have football meetings in the afternoon. Finally, he got his homework done and went to bed early so he could do it all again the next day.
Schulefand will most likely only play baseball next year, Woodson and Huesman said. Schulefand hopes to be drafted to the MLB and said he had been in contact with multiple teams, including the Minnesota Twins, in the fall of 2019.
Contact contributor Sofia Badalamenti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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