Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wann can't play just one at Richmond

Multi-sport athletes are used to competing at a wicked pace, but not even a day between seasons?

"Actually about 20 hours," said Richmond freshman Becca Wann, who finished her soccer season on Sunday and started basketball practice on Monday.

Wann didn't just play on the soccer team, either. She nabbed Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors for soccer on Wednesday, when she was also named to the league's first team. She led all Richmond players in shots (70), points (21) and goals (10) and tied for second in the A-10 with four game-winning goals. Wann is the first player from Richmond to garner the league's top Rookie honor.

"I couldn't imagine just playing one sport, and if I had to pick one, I don't know. I have to play two," said Wann, one of six Spider freshman on the basketball team.

At Cosby High School in Chesterfield, she starred in both, and we do mean starred. She was a four-year starter for both sports. Her basketball accolades include first-team all state and Central Region Player of the Year last year. She finished her final two years as MVP. Her soccer career includes 2010 Dominion District Player of the Year and three-time MVP.

"Richmond is the only school that said I could do both," Wann said. "They were the only school that recruited me for soccer probably because I didn't play travel soccer in high school."

She visited William and Mary, and her parents checked out Campbell. Princeton and Longwood also showed interest, but Wann couldn't picture going the one-sport route. Her travel soccer career ended in eighth grade largely because of the emphasis she places on church and family.

"I'm really involved in my church, and with travel sports, you're away every weekend," said Wann, who attends Christian Life Worship Center, a non-denominational church in Chester. "I didn't want my parents missing church Sunday because they had to travel to watch me play."

The Spiders' soccer season came to an abrupt end last weekend. Only six of the league's 14 teams qualify for the conference tournament. Richmond tied for sixth but lost out to LaSalle on the tiebreaker.

"Bummed is an understatement, especially because we won our last three games," she said. But Wann  lessoned the sting by arriving Monday for her first basketball practice despite having five screws in the pointer finger of her right hand. Wann didn't hurt herself playing soccer or shooting around, for that matter.

"Before a soccer game last week I started to loosen up by playing football with one of our assistant coaches......"

We recommend the next time that Wann get loose with one of her no-contact hobbies such as singing. If you haven't checked out the video of Winn and teammate Rachael Bileny, you've missed a treat. (The pair croons to "Glee" in Bilney's car, and kudos to Bilney for this and all her creative ideas for "Rach's Rundown.'')

"I sing a lot in the shower," said Wann. "It's usually Carrie Underwood."

And when she's not singing and not playing soccer and not playing basketball and not going to church and not sleeping whenever she can and not indulging in her vice (Chinese food), you might catch Wann taking in a flick.

"I'm really into movies," she said.


"I have like 96 of them," said Wann, whose list includes "Sweet Home Alabama," "The Last Song," "She's the Man" and "One Tree Hill" ("I own all 17 of them," she said of the CW show.)

No word on whether she'll forgo the bun she sported during soccer season for the French braids that were her trademark in high school basketball games. But just like soccer, call her Becca.

Only her mother calls her Rebecca. Coach Michael Shafer did the first two days of practice, she said, and after that, "I'm just Wann."

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