Hunter Knows: What do Bo Jackson and Hunter Goodrow have in common? Excelling at being a two-sport athlete.

Drew Hart, Herald Reporter

In an age where athletes must choose one sport to devote their priorities to, often referred to as “sports specialization,” it is uncommon to find a two sport athlete — especially at the collegiate level.

Sure, Bo Jackson, Jameis Winston, Kyler Murray and Julius Peppers are some notable examples all at the Division I level, but that’s about it. According to the NCAA, seven percent of high school lacrosse players and one percent of high school wrestlers go on to display their skills at the Division III level. Hunter Goodrow, a first year student at RWU, fits into both these categories.

Lacrosse has always held a spot in Goodrow’s life.

“I got first introduced to lacrosse by my neighbor. He was a few years older than me and he played defense. We would play catch occasionally and he was a defender. Because of that, I wanted to be a defender too,” Goodrow said. “I have been playing lacrosse since I could remember, I think I officially started to play in third grade but I always had a stick in my hand.”

On the other side, Goodrow’s wrestling career started fairly recently. As a freshman in high school, Goodrow was persuaded by friends to join the team.

“I joined wrestling through a friend in our school’s weight room who convinced me to wrestle. I ended up joining the team that week even though the season was at its halfway mark,” Goodrow said.

Fast forward to the college selection process and Goodrow found himself verbally committed to play lacrosse for RWU. At the same time, Coach John Egan also approached Goodrow and offered him the opportunity to wrestle here, as well.

That was an offer I couldn’t refuse. It felt like a dream come true to do both sports,” Goodrow said.  

Goodrow was quick to notice the difference from high school and collegiate athletics — especially as a two-sport athlete.

“It’s different from high school because it’s like working three full-time jobs: Academics, lacrosse and wrestling. High school was more lenient academically and each sport had their dedicated season with no overlap.”

Still, Goodrow’s passion for each sport has remained strong.

“What I enjoy about wrestling is how it is a 24/7 commitment. Constantly watching what I eat and practice itself are just some parts of why I love the sport. I also believe that wrestling builds good character through the adversity that everyone has to go through,” Goodrow said.

Goodrow lives by the wise words of Olympic gold medalist, Dan Gable, who said, “once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

In terms of lacrosse, Goodrow points to the uniqueness of the game as what captivates him.

“What I love about lacrosse is that it’s the fastest sport on two feet,” said Goodrow. “No two games are the same and each one is just as memorable.”

Even though lacrosse and wrestling seem like two drastically different sports, Goodrow asserts how the training that goes into each is actually quite similar. Both lacrosse and wrestling are cardio-based sports. While lacrosse focuses more on running the distance of the field, wrestling focuses more on long-distance endurance sprints and muscular endurance as well as being better mentally conditioned than your opponent.

“The transition from sport to sport mentally does not change for me, however. I approach every game or match with the same mentality and drive to win and every practice knowing that I need to get better,” Goodrow said.

Besides having the opportunity to represent his school in his two favorite sports in college, Goodrow pointed to the doors it has opened for him.

“One thing that I am very grateful for about being on two teams is since day one, I have been a part of two families,” Goodrow said. “I have acquired friends that are more like brothers that will always have my back and that is an incredible feeling to walk around with.”