Cottingim, Whirley discuss Three Sport Athletes

May 13, 2014

Bruce Cottingim (Preble Shawnee High School, 1985)

Q-What sports did you play?

A-Football, basketball, baseball

Q-Why didn’t you choose to focus on just one sport?

A-I liked all three of them

Q-What was your favorite sport and what were you best at?


Q-Did playing multiple sports hurt your chance to play the collegiate level?

A-I don’t know if it did or not. I have mixed feelings on that. I don’t know if I would have been as good a basketball player, if I hadn’t played football, or had the hand-eye coordination with baseball. I never thought I could make a living at it, and I didn’t think I could balance the academic pressures of college with the equivalent of a full-time job trying to balance the sports side of it. Scholarship or not, I didn’t think I could balance both and be great at both of them. When I went to college, it was to get me a job.

Autumn Whirley, a third team All-Southwest District performer, is a junior at Eaton High School and is being looked at by several Division II and some Division I Ivy League programs to play basketball.

Q-Why did you choose the sport you did?

A-I chose basketball because I liked it better. It was more fast-paced, which I like more than softball. As I was growing up I just kind of got out of softball. I like practicing basketball more. I thought it was more fun and I thought I had a better chance of going to the next level with it.

Q-Do you miss playing sports you have given up?

A-I do miss them.

Q-Has focusing on one sport helped your chances of earning a college scholarship?

A-It gives me more time to practice at it and just get out there and work on my game. If I was still playing softball I would have to be working at that, too. I get more time to focus on basketball, which leads to more opportunities to get better for college and the next level.

Q-Are you playing your favorite sport or the sport that will best help you get to college?

A-This is my favorite sport.

Q-When did you choose to become focused on a single sport and why?

It was during seventh or eighth grade. I realized I just didn’t like softball as much as I like basketball. I just wanted to focus on it (basketball).