ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When New York moved the high school football season to March, it allowed football players a unique opportunity to pick up a fourth sport, like soccer.
Manny Sepulveda went from a receiver on the football team to the starting goalie on the East Rochester soccer team, the defending sectional champs.
“It’s a little nerve-racking at some points since they were such a high-tier team this year and last year,” said the sophomore goalkeeper. “So it’s kind of a big role to fill but I feel like I’m fitting in pretty good to it.”
Sepulveda has transitioned well to his new sport that he hasn’t played since before high school. His head coach is even thinking of ways to get him more involved, like having him step out of the net and play defense.
“He played a long time ago and he still has that muscle memory and the few practices we’ve had him outside he’s been able to play good defense and when he gets the ball on his feet he’s able to pick out passes,” said Mike Domm, the East Rochester head coach..
At Honeoye Falls-Lima, senior Reece Joint is in unfamiliar waters— going from starting quarterback on the football team to a bench player on the soccer team, picking up the sport for the first time since he was about 10 years old.
“It’s not really me following the lead of anybody, they definitely give me pointers on how to get better but I think we all just kind of help each other get to the next level,” said Joint.
“It speaks to his character he’s willing to come out here and be one of the bottom guys on the bench at the start here of the season,” said HF-L head coach Mike Merrill. “But he just wants to play, he’s a throwback.”
And at McQuaid, it’s a return to the sport for senior Nick Wood, who took last year off of soccer to kick for the football team. Now, like both Sepulveda and Joint, he’s balancing soccer with about three days of football training each week.
“It’s definitely something to get used to and it’s pretty nice within our current circumstances to be able to play sports,” he said. “Sports have been a big part of my life. I’ve been playing sports every season since 7th grade.”
Wood calls it a silver lining through all of this, to be able to play even more sports this year than he ever has before.