Three Sport Athletes

The Person Behind the Jersey: James Cox


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Burlington-Edison High School has a wide variety of sports and student athletes. According to Kevin Gudgel Coach, teacher and adviser said he believes around 10 percent of athletes participate in three sports. The dedication and drive to not only participate but also be successful in three different sports is as impressive as it is admirable.

James Cox , ‘19, is a three sport athlete who participates in Cross Country, Boys wrestling, and Track.

James said the reason he chose to become a three sport athlete is, “Mainly so I don’t get fat.”  

He also noted he originally joined cross country to get in shape for boys wrestling which is his main sport.

James later revealed Wrestling to be his favorite sport because, “It was the first sport I really got involved in, and I made a lot of friends in there (the team).”

As well as being his favorite wrestling is also the sport James has been in the longest out of all three.

“I have wrestled for four years and I have lettered for all four years,” he said.

When asked about what his greatest achievement is, and in what sport, James said, “This year I took fifth place at state (wrestling) and it was a 32 man bracket, so it was pretty difficult. I also got academic state champion. I really worked toward that for about four years. Originally I didn’t think I would be able to accomplish that.”

Each sport James has participated in is vastly different, Cross country a sport that pushes cardio endurance, Wrestling challenges muscular strength and technique, and track measures strength and speed.

Out of all James said, “Wrestling is the hardest, cross country is the second hardest, and Track is as hard as you want it to be.”

To answer the reason why their hard James said, “Wrestling is a really emotional sport, when you lose it’s just you out their, especially if it is your first or last match.”

Since each sport has different challenges for the body and mind, did one help improve the performance in another? James said, “Cross country went track together pretty goo, I never really ran long distances in track, but I think running the 5K in Cross Country will prepare me for that.”

Each coach at B-E differs widely in teaching style and personality.  When asked about how harsh each coach is James said. “ Well, I wouldn’t say Gudgel and Wright are the harshest coaches. I would say they are pretty lenient. Hamilton is a real nice guy, but sometimes if you really get him angry, he’ll get pretty mad. It’s pretty funny, sometimes I try not to laugh.”

Mistakes are bound to happen, James said, “I have this thing where I tend to wear really long socks when I’m wrestling and I swear everytime I forget to pull one up, so there’s one sock pulled all the way up to my knee, and one all the way down to my ankle and it’s always super awkward in pictures.”

Another experience James had involved losing his contacts.

“I lost my contact lenses when I wrestling , one popped out and I was like, oh darn! And then another popped out and I was like, double darn!”

James said if he could do a fourth sport he would, “I would probably swim, it looks fun.”

Finally, when asked if he would do anything different James said, “I don’t think I would really do anything differently, I guess I would have tried Cross Country sooner. But freshmen year it was nice only doing one sport.”

James is currently in track and field, his final season as an athlete for B-E. His impressive performance as a wrestler has earned his name on B-E’s mat room wall, where all state placers names are marked down and read by future wrestlers. James, like many other three sport athletes, has set a high standard that continues to impress fellow athletes and challenges future athletes to do the same.