Double Take: Area athletes juggle multiple sports

Adam Papin/MDN Jett Lundeen pitches for the Bishop Ryan baseball team in the Lions’ season opener against Berthold earlier this month.

When one of his father’s friends asked if Jett Lundeen wanted to play on a traveling team, he balked at the thought of playing organized baseball.

“I was like no way. I don’t want to play any tournaments in the summer,” Lundeen recalled.

He and his parents were skeptical of the idea, given how much time the family spent at Rice Lake.

Lundeen played baseball as a kid with his friends growing up, but he never really liked the sport. Despite his reservations, he did end up playing that summer with kids on the Minot High team, including Kellan Burke and Easton Panasuk that summer, and he fell in love with it.

Lundeen also started pitching in the front yard of his friend Mackley Morelli, who at the time played catcher.

Adam Papin/MDN Minot High’s Maicee Burke runs in a preliminary heat of the 100 meters at the 2023 NDHSAA State Track and Field Championships last May.

“He would get down in his catcher gear, and I would throw to him probably twice a day. It was really fun,” said Lundeen.

Eventually, he caught the eye of Ben Magnuson, Bishop Ryan’s head baseball coach at the time. Magnuson thought Lundeen was good enough to pitch varsity as an eighth grader.

“I was still really raw, but I just had a good arm and was able to find the zone,” said Lundeen.

That season, he pitched in the Region championship game for Bishop Ryan.

Lundeen’s other passion is golf. He credits his family for him developing the love of the sport because they put him in lessons at an early age.

“My uncles were big golfers on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side,” said Lundeen. “I golf with them a lot. And then my family started to get involved more. I progressed from there.”

Lundeen finished fifth in his Region as an eighth grader, his first year playing high school golf. The experience led him to dedicate more of his time to the sport.

It also left Lundeen with a dilemma. Which sport to continue in?

“My eighth grade year, I didn’t know if I could do it,” said Lundeen. “I decided to play both and then make a decision my freshman year.”

Coach Magnuson convinced Lundeen that he could do both, but also stressed how critical it was to communicate which practices he was going to be at, or if he was going to make games. There was one other rule: when golf was over, Lundeen needed to be all in on baseball.

He found the hardest part of playing multiple sports to be the academics, and not getting behind with all of the class time he misses for games and tournaments.

Communication with coaches is a key challenge for athletes playing multiple sports in the same season, but it can work according to Minot High girls’ soccer head coach Matt Pfau, who sees Maicee Burke compete at a high level both on the pitch and on the track.

Burke is both a co-captain of the soccer team and a standout sprinter on the Majettes’ track team, qualifying for state finals in multiple events.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the track coaches. They understand that the kids are getting a good workout in soccer,” said Pfau. “They’re able to just take them if they’re on a relay to work on handoff and coming out of the blocks for 25-30 minutes, and then they’ll send them over so soccer.”

He credits the ease of working with the track and field coaches for making it successful.

“You have to be committed to staying healthy and not push yourself to hard trying to go to two practices a day. Maicee has been really good at controlling that and doing the one practice.”

Burke focuses on qualifying for the state track meet as early as possible because state is what matters the most for her in track.

“It takes a lot of communication,” said Burke. “I mostly go to soccer and that usually gets my workout in for track.”


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