In a year when many thought it would be improbable, if not impossible, to be a multiple-sport athlete with more than eight sports happening at the same time, Jacob Badawi of Chino Hills Ayala High pulled off a dream-like scenario Thursday.
First he went four for four with two doubles for the baseball team in an afternoon home game against Downey. When the final out was recorded, he sprinted to the dugout, grabbed his baseball gear, then ran a 4.6 40 to his father’s Chevrolet Silverado so he could be driven to Ayala’s football game at La Verne Bonita to play running back.
During the 20-minute drive, Badawi replaced his baseball cleats with football cleats, put on shoulder pads and jersey, and threw his dirty baseball uniform into the back seat.
He’d go on to rush for 47 yards in five carries and score on a 24-yard run in a 27-0 victory. The football and baseball teams are 2-0 and Badawi couldn’t be happier as a two-sport athlete celebrating the best of baseball and football.
“I didn’t want to have any regrets,” he said.
He’s headed to UC Riverside on a baseball scholarship but wanted to play a ninth year of football with his best friends. Coaches are cooperating but he admits giving the decision some deep thinking.
“It was very tiring, definitely a grind,” he said of finding time to practice for both sports.
Then came Thursday’s opportunity to play two games in different sports and make an impact for both teams. The only other day he’ll have to play baseball and football is April 16. He’ll be rooting for no extra innings.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he said of getting four hits and scoring a touchdown. “You get to experience the best of both worlds.”
Memorable debut: Nico Iamaleava, a 6-foot-6 sophomore quarterback at Downey Warren, is on his way to becoming an elite college recruit. Word had been spreading for months about his skills and he finally made his varsity debut, completing 24 of 37 passes for 361 yards and six touchdowns in a defeat of Lakewood Mayfair.
“He’s special,” said coach Kevin Pearson, who also was the coach for Bryce Young at L.A. Cathedral. “He’s a big-time talent. It’s crazy how good this kid is.”
Iamaleava, who’s also a top volleyball talent, is the cousin of Bellflower St. John Bosco sophomore tight end Matayo Uiagalelei.
Running wild: Amir Bankhead of Lancaster Paraclete rushed for 313 yards in 14 carries and scored six touchdowns in a 52-13 victory over Monrovia. He also completed three passes for 58 yards and caught three passes for 25 yards.
TD passing machines: Culver City quarterback Zevi Eckhaus passed for 59 touchdowns in 13 games in 2019. He already has 10 touchdown passes in two games for the 2-0 Centaurs.
Tyler Voss of Valencia completed 23 of 33 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns in a 73-3 win over Canyon Country Canyon.
Los Alamitos in control: Los Alamitos (3-0) looks headed for a Sunset League title after a 27-20 win over Huntington Beach Edison. Sophomore receiver Makai Lemon caught eight passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.