Championships twice as nice for two-sport Aces

Back to News List | Posted on Nov 7th, 2007
11-07-2007.jpg Aces basketball players Kevin Escott, Greg Robbins and Eric Stahler are currently enjoying another successful season – as members of the varsity soccer team. The squad earned the 2007 District I championship with a 2-1 victory against Abington and is now competing in the state playoffs. Aceshoops.com caught up with Escott, Robbins and Stahler to talk soccer, basketball and the experience of being successful, multi-sport athletes at Lower Merion. Aceshoops: What is the best part about being an athlete at Lower Merion? KE: The fan support and the support we get from the community. Having coaches that work hard and all the good opportunities that are given to us. Aceshoops: Coming into the soccer season, what were your goals? ES: To win a Central League championship, District championship and a State championship. Aceshoops: At what point in the season did you know you have something special? ES: Our overtime win against Strath Haven. That was a big game that showed a lot of character on our part. Aceshoops: What’s the most difficult thing about playing two sports? GR: Trying to keep your skills up each offseason. Aceshoops: What’s the best thing about playing two sports? GR: Getting some time off from each sport doesn’t hurt. KE: You get to be part of two families and you get to meet new people. Aceshoops: How do you balance sports and academics at Lower Merion? KE: Actually, my grades are normally better during the two sports seasons. When I get home, I have to get my work done. There’s no real time to procrastinate. Aceshoops: What are some of your best sports memories at LM so far? GR:  Winning a state championship, winning a district championship, beating Chester at the Palestra…and when Kevin got a technical foul at Radnor… Aceshoops: What are you most proud of? Individually or as a team. KE: Probably the District championship, because I’m more of an integral part of it than I was on the state championship team. I think it means more when you’re starting and playing every game. ES: Being a captain. Aceshoops: What’s the best sports rivalry at Lower Merion? ES:  Strath Haven for soccer and Chester for basketball. GR: I’d say Ridley, too for basketball. Aceshoops: What’s something that would surprise most people about the soccer team? KE: We combine a good work ethic with a good sense of humor. Before games you’d think that most people would be dead serious. But the attitude before games is pretty light. ES: I don’t think people know how hard we work. Aceshoops: What are some of the main differences between the two sports seasons? KE: For soccer, you basically just have those three weeks of preseason where you run, run, run and the rest of the season is just games and preparation for games, so you’ll have a hard practice here and there. With basketball, it’s consistent for four months -- you’re running every day. Aceshoops: How do you compare the successful playoff runs in basketball to the one you are having with soccer? ES:  For me at least, I realize the importance of each game in the playoffs, of how big of a deal it really is. With the state championship as a freshman, I didn’t understand it as much. I would also say that in basketball we were much bigger underdogs. This year in soccer, we are a higher seed. But I think we had to work equally hard. Aceshoops: Are there any teammates who have graduated that really had an impact on you? KE: Seeing the work ethic of Ryan [Brooks] and Garrett [Williamson] during my sophomore year and how even though they knew that game in and game out they were the two best players, they still worked so hard to get better. That’s something I’ve taken into consideration this year. Even though I may not be the best player, I definitely try to work hard day in and day out to improve. I would also say Eric Buckman for soccer – just how he’d be all over the field, working hard and being ready for whatever, but also having a light attitude and not putting all the pressure on himself. Just seeing him come in and have fun day in and day out. GR: Garrett. He’s quiet and can lead without talking. He’s a true leader by example. Aceshoops: What would be some advice for future LM athletes who want to become successful in multiple sports? ES: Work hard, listen to your coaches and don’t take anything for granted. KE: There are a lot of competitors out there and if you don’t put in time during the offseason and the regular season, you might not even make the team. There are lots of kids out there who want to be in the same position as you. GR: For soccer, come to preseason in shape every year. Listen to Coach Fadely, because it took me two years to realize how good of a coach he is and to respect him at the highest level. For basketball, work hard every single practice to try and get into the top five. Take extra shots, I know Coach Downer loves that. Don’t play scared. Aceshoops: What are your post high school plans? KE: I’ve currently applied to Penn State and I’m looking at a few D3 schools to try to continue my soccer career. Wherever I go, I will likely major in some kind of business area. I’ll definitely keep in touch with my younger teammates and the coaches and continue to support the LM sports programs and come back and see some games. Aceshoops: Why do you think basketball and soccer are so successful at LM? KE: Coaching staff and hard work. GR: Coaching staff and hard work and the desire to win. ES: Same thing and I would add tradition and attitude.