It was a busy week for El Dorado student-athlete London Ingram. The freshman competed in two soccer games and a track meet in a four-day span.
Ingram scored four goals on Monday in the Lady Wildcats’ soccer victory over White Hall. She finished third in the long jump at the Coca Cola Relays on Tuesday in Nashville. On Thursday, Ingram netted four goals in El Dorado’s soccer win at Hot Springs.
Athletes competing in multiple sports simultaneously isn’t that uncommon at small schools. It’s a bit more rare in the larger classifications.
“It requires true dedication from the athlete, support from the parents, and encouragement, and compromise from both coaches of each sport to assist the athlete to make the necessary practices and games and events,” said El Dorado girls soccer coach Neville Matthews. “Because often times the athlete feels guilty if they miss a practice and that can cause a decline in their performance.”
El Dorado’s soccer and track programs haven’t shared a lot of athletes in the past. This season, both Ingram and boys’ player Jadon Cunningham have competed in both sports, although soccer has been the top focus for each. Cunningham won the 800 in Nashville on Tuesday and helped the Wildcats to a soccer win in Hot Springs on Thursday.
El Dorado girls’ track coach John Koonce said Ingram usually gets to practice track on Wednesday.
“We knew she could help the track team,” said Koonce. “She started out on the junior high team and it just didn’t work out with the soccer schedule. All the meets are on Tuesdays with the soccer games. Varsity meets are on Thursdays, which worked out. That’s why she’s on the varsity team. She’s been very good for the team. She contributes, had a great long jump the other day. We’re looking forward to how she’ll do in conference next Tuesday.”
Koonce said Ingram actually showed up to work on Sunday to get some extra track work in. She competes in the long jump, high jump, 100 and 200.
As for the dedication of the athlete and cooperation of the coaches, it’s worked out well this season at El Dorado.
“That’s all determined by the athletes,” said Koonce. “She’s able to do it with no problem.”