When varsity soccer ends in the rapidly fading light of a December day, most players go home for a quick meal and a long night of trying to finish their homework.
However, senior Bryce Casey trades in his cleats for sneakers and heads to his club volleyball team practice. It will be additional two hours of sweat and drills before he can go home and catch up on those other details of his life–such as eating and schoolwork.
As if balancing two sports with other life events weren’t hard enough, Casey is on the roster of five teams across three sports.
Casey was named MaxPreps Special Teams Player of the game against Woodcreek for football and scored three touchdowns in one game earlier this season. This, he considers, is one of his greatest accomplishments since starting to play his freshman year.
Casey plays wide receiver, tight end and kicker for the football team, hitting most of his extra points with his cannon leg. The level of talent one needs to play three different positions on the field is huge. His skills in soccer as a midfielder help him thrive in all positions.
Last year, he played 254 minutes (per MaxPreps) throughout the season playing in the center defensive middle position. In addition, Casey was named captain of Rio’s varsity team for this season, received defensive most valuable player last year and has been playing since he was just three years old. Casey balances his busy schedule with year-round club soccer for Union.
“Bryce is a great leader,” said senior Nick Vasquez. “He hypes us up and pushes us to work harder. Even when games are tense, he always keeps us positive.”
Casey plays volleyball for both Rio and for his club, Infinity. For this sport, his height is his biggest advantage.
Standing at 6’5, Casey is able to play up close to the net as middle outside and outside blocker. This is the player whose job is to read opposing teams and determine where and when they will attempt to spike the ball.
“I probably enjoy volleyball the most because I’m the best at it.” Casey said.
In a volleyball game last year, Casey made a bicycle kick over the net which scored Rio a point.
“Bryce is a great leader and he always gives his all when he’s on the court,” said senior Alex Erikson. “He plays with lots of passion and never backs down from a challenge.”
As with football, Casey started playing volleyball when he was a freshman in high school. This year, he was named captain of Rio’s varsity team, which comes with a spot in Rio’s student body leadership.
Anyone who has participated in athletics is aware that it is extremely challenging to find a way to budget sports, school and a social life. Casey has obviously mastered this concept.
“I usually have two practices a day,” Casey said. “If two are going on at once, I choose which one is more important.”
Somehow, aside from his packed workload, he finds a way to spend time with friends. In addition to this, Casey trains outside of sports at a gym lifting weights on days he doesn’t have soccer after football practice.
“I actually have more free time than you would think,” he said. “Even though I play a lot of sports, sometimes I have an entire day after school to relax and some weekends I’m totally free.”
He plans on attending a four year college to continue his volleyball career. Casey contributes to the school’s team which is ranked 180th in California, making them in the top 10 percent of schools in the state.
“I would like to play for UCLA,” Casey said. “Long Beach is up there because they have a really good program, as well as San Jose State.”
When asked why he plays this many sports, Casey answered that if he did not, he would get out of shape.
His love of athletics has taught him many lessons like time management and discipline, and has bettered his life both on and off the field/court.