Fenton's Sosa balancing football, girls swimming

  • Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall. Her coaches say she has a tremendous work ethic.

    Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall. Her coaches say she has a tremendous work ethic. Courtesy of Sophia Sosa

  • Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall.

    Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall. Courtesy of Sophia Sosa

  • Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall.

    Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is competing in football and girls swimming this fall. Courtesy of Sophia Sosa

 
By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/1/2021 12:08 PM

Fenton sophomore Sophia Sosa is going to have a very busy fall. She's up to the challenge.

Sosa is a member of the school's girls swimming and diving team and is particularly strong at the 100-yard butterfly, according to coach Jeff Baeder.

 

But simultaneously, she's a member of the Bison football team, as a strong safety, and is "in the mix" for major playing time this season, according to her coach in that sport, Matthew Lynch.

Want more? She's also a member of the Fenton wrestling team under coach Brian Hastings and finished sixth in the 145-pound weight class at the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Girls State Championships back in June.

Then there is the gauntlet of school, including an AP class.

Whew. That's a lot.

"It can be overwhelming sometimes, but the main thing is, my mom is very flexible with my schedule," Sosa said of Kristen Remlinger. "She gets me to practices, gets me to school in the mornings and she is very cooperative."

It usually isn't easy. Sosa often does three practices in one day, on top of school, which necessitates a strict schedule. She will arrive at Fenton in the morning to lift weights for football for Lynch, and then in the afternoon, she'll go to swim practice for Baeder. But there are some days when she has to go exclusively to football.

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Back in the summer of 2020, she approached both Lynch and Baeder about participating in both of their sports. Their reaction?

"They thought I was crazy," she said with a laugh. "How are you supposed to balance all of this? They're like, 'You're going to be overwhelmed,' and I'm like, 'No, I'm going to do what I love.' "

So far, so good. At Fenton's first swim meet on Aug. 25, she took fourth place in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. But the big prize was a victory in the 200 freestyle relay with teammates Bella Hanuasiak, Veronica Losak and Abby Niehoff.

As for football, she had to wait a week. Fenton's game at South Elgin last Friday was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. Next up for the Bison is a home game this Friday against Larkin.

Both of her coaches are impressed with how she is balancing both sports and school.

"She has a tremendous work ethic and all of the players love being around her," Lynch said. "She works extremely hard in the weight room and the classroom, and she's one of the best human beings I have personally ever met."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Baeder said: "So far she's been doing pretty well. She is more worried about everything in getting to different practices than coach Lynch and I are. It's nice working with coach Lynch; we're both laid back and letting her do her thing."

Remlinger, who taught Sosa to throw a football as a wee lass, said her daughter got into football by watching the Chicago Bears every Sunday. Thus she developed a strong connection to the sport, which led her into flag football and peewee football as a middle schooler.

"You have to have the will and the passion, and she has that," Remlinger said. "She does her homework, and whatever it takes to get things done, she'll do it."

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