Hervert doing double duty
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” If Battle Mountain’s Cody Hervert has a little extra time on his hands, his soccer coach David Cope has a few ideas.
“I think Doyon should get him in a volleyball game. I think Cody might not hit as hard as Anna (Padget-Shields), but I think he could contribute,” Cope said. “We really should find him a cross country race to run. I think we could squeeze one in on a Saturday before or after a soccer game. We could call Jamie Lee (Roberts) for a tip.”
For a myriad of reasons, Hervert will not be joining coach Brian Doyon and the volleyball team. The first of which is that the sophomore is pretty busy as a it is. Like Jamie Lee Roberts, Class of 2008, who juggled alpine and Nordic skiing in the winter and soccer and track in the spring, Hervert is doing the double in one season.
But this is a tricky two-step for Hervert. He’s playing both soccer and football, bouncing from The Beautiful Game to one where, as he says, “There’s a guy trying to kill you.”
Tuesday, Hervert and the soccer team beat Steamboat Springs, 2-0, in a huge game. While his teammates where planning where to go to celebrate and making plans for Wednesday’s Homecoming parade, Hervert was changing over his equipment and heading to Phelan Field for yet another practice.
“It’s been overwhelming at times,” Hervert said. “But I get a lot of support from my family. I take it one day at a time, and I try not to think about the next day of four hours of practice. After a while, it becomes a routine.”
“I think he’s the kind of kid who’s focused,” Cope said. “He’s pretty driven to do whatever he sets his mind to. His grades are solid. As they say, if you want something done, ask a busy person.”
The weight room
Soccer is Hervert’s first love. Like most booters at Battle Mountain, he played with the Vail Valley Soccer Club from a young age. His goal after his freshman year was to make the varsity squad in 2008.
And though his last experience in organized football came sometime around third or fourth grade, Hervert had told his folks that he wanted to kick on the gridiron in high school. As a freshman last season, Hervert dutifully did kickoffs and extra points.
Until this summer, Hervert seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of Christina Aiello, Patrick Scanlan and Kyle Moore, excellent soccer players who joined Huskies football as the kicker on Friday nights.
That was the plan until he was in the weight room this summer, working out with the football team when he caught the eye of David Joyce and company.
“Well, I mean’s he’s like 6-foot-3,” said Joyce, who’s in his first year at the helm of the football program. You see 6-foot-3 and you instantly think receiver.”
The football team took Hervert from the weight room to Phelan Field and had the sophomore run some routes.
“He’s got good hands,” Joyce said. “He’s still learning to run routes. Part of that is him just being a sophomore and part of that is him being a first-year receiver. But everyday, he gets better with it.”
In retrospect, the preseason was almost easy. Hervert had two- or four-a-days for three weeks, getting ready for his seasons. In the process, he lost 10 pounds, but there could be no doubt of his fitness.
Once school and the games started, the juggling became more intense. It’s not just juggling the games in each sport whose schedules are relatively compatible. But it’s also the practices, not to mention school work.
His parents, Susie and Jim, rightly insist young Hervert’s grades are in order before anything else. There is also the issue of making as many practices as possible.
Coaches Cope and Joyce both need Hervert to be up to speed on game plans. The sophomore plays critical positions in both sports ” outside midfielder, wide receiver and safety, not to mention the regular kicking duties.
And the bottom line is that Hervert has to do all the work in half the number of practices.
“Both teams depend on me being ready,” Hervert said. “That wouldn’t make either coach happy.”
There’s also the new physical element. Make no mistake soccer is a physical game, but the hitting of football was a new experience for Hervert. He was a little timid at first, but began to have faith in his pads.
Hervert’s true baptism by fire came in Week 2 against Palisade. After playing the first half of a soccer game in Eagle-Vail ” also against Palisade ” he raced down to Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction for football.
The Bulldogs were waiting.
“Omigosh, Palisade,” Hervert said. “Every single tackle, I got destroyed. I was making the tackle, but it was brutal. Then I went up for a pass and their safety laid me out hard.”
Hervert kept playing in the second half of that game, but missed two soccer games later that week.
“He responded to taking the big shot,” Joyce said.
Cope admits he was nervous about the Palisade game and the prospect of losing his midfielder, but figures that injury is a part of sports.
“I think it’s just as likely that he gets hurt in a (soccer) training session,” Cope said.
While Hervert won’t admit it, what he’s doing is good for Battle Mountain athletics as a whole. While the school has made strides in getting more athletes into multiple sports, both coaches see the sophomore as an example for future Huskies. Hervert feels that he’s “no longer just a soccer player playing football, but a football player two, if that makes sense.”
It does to Cope.
“It’s the concept of an athletic department,” Cope said. “Everybody chips in and supports the kids in their endeavors. Specialization is overrated. Good athletes can contribute in many sports at a school our size.”
And Hervert comes to football with a unique perspective. The soccer side of him expects to win. The Huskies have won four straight league titles on the pitch and are looking for No. 5 this fall. Football is a struggle at the school.
“I want to do well at everything,” Hervert said. “I want football to do as well as soccer. I’ve gotten to know these guys (in football) and I see how hard they work and how much they want it. Getting that first win would be huge.”
Hervert has two games this weekend at Phelan Field. Football plays tonight at 7 against Montezuma-Cortez. Soccer plays Saturday at 6 p.m. against Moffat County. Hervert already has two goals and an assist in soccer, but is still looking for his first touchdown.
“That would be a good two day’s work,” Joyce said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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