Double trouble

Ari Werbin-Gradel, Features Editor

Sophomore Todd Lazoff slams a volley into the corner of the court to win his tennis match. Ordinarily, players would relax and enjoy their victory, but Lazoff has no time to lose. Already out of breath, he sprints to the gym just in time to warm up for his volleyball practice. 

Lazoff played on two CESJDS sports teams this past spring: boys varsity volleyball and boys varsity tennis. 

“I’ve always wanted to do a double sport, but it was pretty hard because I didn’t know whether I had to commit to a single team or not,” Lazoff said. “It was very difficult because [the coaches] wanted me to commit to a certain team but I didn’t want to do that.” 

Playing two sports at the same time comes with great physical demands, and therefore the recovery process is even more crucial. 

“It is a little hard to recover from doing two sports,” Lazoff said. “But I think it is relatively the same because usually, I’m skipping one to do the other, so it’s not that much more physically or mentally tiring.” 

Keeping strong mental health and managing time also have to be taken into consideration when committing to two sports teams. 

Lazoff has had to skip some practices from both teams in order to play in games for one team. Although volleyball coach Scott Wertlieb would prefer that Lazoff was fully dedicated to volleyball, he supported Lazoff’s decision.

“I wanted him to play volleyball, but I found out that he enjoyed playing tennis too,” Wertlieb said. “I told him to please try out for tennis, but he would absolutely be a superstar on the volleyball team.” 

Despite being committed to two teams during the same season, Lazoff showed leadership and growth on both teams. He says that he always gave 100%. 

“Some of my team members think I’m on one team more than another team,” Lazoff said. “I think I am equally devoted to both tennis and volleyball.”  

The two sports Lazoff played differ in their approach, with tennis being more individual and volleyball a more team-oriented sport.

Lazoff enjoys playing two sports, especially because he gets to meet new people on the tennis team and keep his relationship with his volleyball teammates from when he was on the team in past seasons. Not only does Lazoff participate in two sports, but he is also a top player on both teams, being a starter on volleyball, and being within the top seven best tennis players. The volleyball team’s record with Lazoff playing is 8-1 and his tennis doubles record is a 5-1. According to his coaches and teammates, Lazoff adds a lot to the team despite balancing two sports. 

“Because he played with us pre-COVID, he has a lot of stability, leadership on the team…,” Wertlieb said. “One thing that impresses me about [Lazoff] is his demeanor. He’s very cool, calm and collected as a player.”

Along with Lazoff’s coaches, his teammates have taken notice of his hard work and commitment to both sports. Junior Aiden Melkin, who plays on the tennis team, supports Lazoff in his decision and admires him both on and off the courts. 

 “He shows a lot of potential in a lot of sports, and I think it’s cool that he’s able to succeed in a lot of the sports that he does and he’s able to balance all those things,” Melkin said.