Jacob Meseke | sports editor
Two Charger seniors have been a constant presence in athletic events for the last four years. Eli Mumpower and Jace Reves are this year’s 12-sport athletes.
To be considered a 12-sport athlete, students have to play three sports each year for all four years. These athletes have no break between seasons. When one season ends, the other is often already underway.
Reves participated in football, basketball and track and Mumpower participated in cross country, wrestling and baseball.
Head football coach Jess Rutledge said athletes who compete year-round are extra valuable to high school coaches. “Generally, they are in better shape and less prone to injury,” Rutledge said.
Head track and cross country coach Roger Alderman coached both Reves and Mumpower. He described Reves as a “hard-nosed competitor who finds that little extra when needed.” He said Mumpower “changed from just leading by example into being a more vocal leader.”
Basketball coach Christian Ulsakeer praised Reves’ effort in his senior season. “Jace was a key glue guy for us this year. He knew his role and had key plays during the season to make us successful. My favorite memory of Jace was him having to step up and become more of a focal point in our offense during the Royal Valley Tournament. I believe that experience gave him more confidence as a player, the rest of the season,” Ulsaker said. “I only got to coach Jace for two years, but his basketball IQ grew significantly from his junior year to his senior year. I felt that once Jace got into a system he understood, we could put him into positions to be successful.”
Baseball coach Jeron Weisshaar said Mumpower has been important to the program. “He’s a good vocal leader. His even-keeled nature has been great since the beginning and he’s always willing to do whatever the coaches ask of him.”
Why did you play 3 sports all four years?
Eli: “I’ve always had fun and want to be that senior that leads the team.”
Jace: “It was fun and I wanted an upperclassman leader.”
Was there at any point that you almost stopped playing?
Eli: “No there wasn’t.”
Jace: “No, there wasn’t a time I didn’t play a sport, but there was a time I almost played a different sport. I was about to wrestle.”
How has one sport helped you in other sports?
Eli: “They build on each other. Allow you to be a better athlete through all three of them.”
Jace: “It has made me a better athlete and helped me battle adversity.”
Would you encourage underclassmen to be a 12 sport athlete?
Eli: “Yes, it makes the year go by faster, makes it fun, and allows you to do something you might not be able to again.”
Jace: “Yes, because you will probably not be able to after high school. Might as well to most you can while you can.”
What did your parents think of you playing all three sports?
Eli: “They’ve always pushed to do as much as possible, to try new things, and to stick out whatever I’ve tried.”
Jace: “They’ve always been encouraging and telling me to work hard.”
What were the highlights of your career?
Eli: “Qualified for state three times for cross country and getting 6th in wrestling.”
Jace: “Sophomore year of track, this year getting second place in state for basketball, and for football this year getting our first playoff win in 37 years.”
How have you changed mentally since you were a freshman?
Eli: “Confidence, just knowing I can do it.”
Jace: “Stronger mentally and have more confidence in myself. Just knowing that I’m a senior now and not a little guy.”
Could you think of anytime you were a leader?
Eli: “Leading the team that the other three years have taught me. Helping the underclassmen learn new stuff.”
Jace: “Track, I’m the only senior that’s done it all four years. I’m the only one that really knows the system. I have to lead through the exercises and stretches and make sure everyone’s not goofing off.”
How would your coaches describe you?
Eli: “Hard-working and reliable.”
Recent 12-Sport Athletes
Class of 2020
Class of 2019
Class of 2018
Class of 2017
I think this is a wonderful accomplishment and great that you are recognizing it! But I think you ought to include cheerleading also. They practice June-March every year and compete during the summer. It takes a lot of dedication as well as athleticism.