Salmans and Diaz tackle two sports this year


Paulina Diaz, left & Lexy Salmans, right. Photo by Jon Voth.

By Gina DeFazio and Kendra Burkey

There are 148 students at Hesston who rise to the challenge of balancing athletics with academics. It’s no small feat. But rising to an even higher challenge are the women who are two-sport athletes. Sophomores Lexy Salmans (Bel Aire, KS) and Paulina Diaz (Constantine, MI) both play basketball. On top of that, Salmons plays softball and Diaz, volleyball. 

Athletic Director Chris Nachtigall says playing two sports in college is a huge commitment that Hesston takes seriously. 

“At Hesston College, we want to make sure that we set students up for success and so if a student is to play two sports, we want to make sure this will be the best thing for them in those areas,” he said. 

That’s why Hesston has some guidelines about this. Nachtigall says the general rule for coaches is that there shouldn’t be any requirements for the athlete’s out-of-season sport while they are in-season with another sport.  

“This helps to protect their time,” he said. 

The athlete may decide to participate in some out-of-season practices or activities. 

“But that would be their own choice and not an expectation from the out-of-season sports coach,” Nachtigall said.


A Q&A With Salmons & Diaz

Lexy Salmans (Bel Aire, KS) sophomore – basketball & softball

 What made you decide to play two sports this year?

“I used to play basketball and softball in high school. The softball coach texted me asking me to play about two weeks before I was moving back to Hesston and I was so excited.”

How do you cope with your studies as a two-sport athlete?

“I usually write out my assignments and practice times the week before. This helps me know when I have free time to study and when I’m busy as well, but sometimes there are late nights making sure I get everything done.”

What have you been looking forward to for both seasons?

“I’m really excited for the basketball season because we have a lot of new girls and returners who are really good. We all love hanging out together. I think this season is going to be very successful and fun. I’m excited to see what happens. I’m excited to get back on the softball field, I really missed playing and making new friends. I really want to have fun because this will probably be the last time I’ll ever play softball.”


Paulina Diaz (Constantine, MI) sophomore – volleyball & basketball

What made you decide to play two sports this year?

“After I finished my volleyball season, I was not sure I was going to continue playing sports at my next college. I was unsure I was ready to finish my competitive athlete career after one more season of volleyball. I then started thinking about sports and how much I wanted one more year of basketball season because I missed out on my senior year basketball season due to a job. I talked to a lot of peers and staff before I decided to fully commit to wanting to play for Hesston, and proceeded with approaching the coach and trying out.”

How do you cope with your studies as a two-sport athlete?

“Being a multi-sport athlete has a lot of responsibilities and takes a lot of time. I am in open communication with my coaches that allows me to plan around different practices and games to make sure I have time for my studies. Luckily, my two sports are in different seasons so during the main season I can put priority on one or the other. It is not very difficult to cope with my studies because there is not a lot of cross-over between the two sports. The coaches are both very helpful as well.”

What have you been looking forward to for both seasons?

“I am looking for success in both seasons. To me that means that myself and my team do the best in our athletic abilities. I want to make memories and relationships that will last a lifetime as well as increase my fitness and skills in both sports.”

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