How many people know of an athlete who plays two or more sports? Not many, when it comes to college and professional athletes. Come down to the high school level, and athletes are often called upon to be versatile in more than one sport.
The smaller the school, the more versatile the athlete sometimes needs to be. Take J’Kobie Lee of Floyd.
Lee played basketball for Floyd high School, ran track when he was younger, played on the Little League All-Stars team, held different positions on the football team in the 2007 and 2008 seasons and snowboards.
He says: “I like to play baseball and I’ve been playing the sport since I was six years old.
“I like being outdoors. When I was a little kid, my grandpa used to play baseball with me. Sometimes my dad would play with us. It is more fun than anything else.”
Last year he played six different positions because he could play any position his coach put him in and finished the season manning second base.
Baseball coach Darwin Chenault said Lee is a good baseball player because he has speed and good hands. Lee he just needs to mature a little, Chenault said.
“He is a good all-around athlete, who can play up to four different positions,” Chenault said. “He might pitch, catch, or play short stop and second base. Last year he played second, and this season I am going to be using him a little more.”
Lee won the All Defense Award for his work on defense. Sometimes he played third and shortstop when his teammates had to pitch. Basketball coach Rafael Roybal said Lee is very involved with the athletics at the school.
Lee lost his starting position on the basketball team this past season, but since then he has been working toward improving himself.
“Out of all the sophomores who have played for me, Lee has the most physical ability as a basketball player,” Roybal said. “Right now he contributes more athletic ability than most of the players we have on the team.”
Roybal said his potential is huge. He is a starter in football and last year he was the defensive back. He played a little at running back and quarterback. A small school like this a player have to do a lot of different things. He does a good job and does contribute.
Lee has played for football for Roybal for two seasons, played baseball with the high school and ran track in junior high.
“I think it is starting to change,” Roybal said. “It is getting more toward where he is being more committed to things. I tell the players, ‘I know this is athletics, but it also shows who you are.’ He is a good guy.”
Lee thinks the defense on the basketball team is good because coach Roybal feels that is what win games.
“Coach thinks if we play good defense, we can beat any team,” Lee said. “At the end of the game our defense would step up and play much harder. I think our defense is what is pretty good.”
Lee has stepped up his game in football in his second season.
“The year before, compared to last, I gave up a lot passing touchdowns,” Lee said. “This pass season, I think I only gave up two or three last year.”
Lee said he didn’t have any interceptions his freshman year, but in his next season he had eight or nine.
By the numbers
Basketball: 23 defensive rebounds, 18 steals
7th in hitting .298
6th in slugging percentage, .362
on-base percentage was .450.
Runs scored 25 (team leader)
Tied for 2nd in stolen bases (11)
Favorite school subject: Math. I think it is an easy subject because I understand what to do most of the time.
Goals: I want to go to college and be a sports specialist or physical trainer.
Favorite movies: “Apocalypto,” “The Longest Yard,” “Gridiron Gang” and “Friday Night Lights.”
Favorite music: Country and rap