North Hills’ Manning, Babicz honored for dedication to 3 sports

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Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 10:08 PM


North Hills seniors Brandon Manning and Natalie Babicz are two members of a dying breed, and on May 22, they were honored for it at the Northern Athletic Director’s Association Tri-Athlete Banquet at the Chadwick.

The annual luncheon honors high school seniors in the area who have participated in three interscholastic sports during their school year. Each athlete was recognized and honored during the course of the afternoon.

For Manning, he said it was a unique experience, being around so many other student-athletes who have pushed through the same challenges and have undergone the same sacrifices he has in order to enjoy participating on three separate Indians teams.

“It was nice. It was good to see all the other athletes there from the area. It was a really small group of us, there. But it’s nice to be honored for all of the hard work that we’ve done,” Manning said.

“I’ve always played those sports, and I’ve always had a passion in me for all three of them. So, for my senior year, I wanted to get all three in and I’m glad I did so.”

Manning played basketball and football for four seasons, and said he came back to baseball for his final two high school years. Meanwhile, Babicz charted a different path on her way to participating on three high school sports teams.

“I’ve been playing basketball for years, and I’ve always loved it since I was younger so I continued that in high school,” Babicz said.

“I always wanted to join track, too. I just never had a chance until I was here in high school, so I was on that team for four years. This year, I just joined up with tennis because I thought it would be fun. So, I’m glad I did.”

The North Hills tri-sport duo may play different sports, but they share plenty in common. Both said they share a level of gratitude in having the opportunity to play three sports, and neither said they have any regrets in doing so. In particular, they were motivated to continue through the challenges of their commitments by the deep bonds they forged with their teammates over the years.

“With each sport, you make different friend groups,” Manning said. “You really get to know a lot of other people. Through the sports, especially playing three of them, you get to know a lot of people and you get to become close with them through sharing that experience.”

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