MODESTO — Big Valley Christian quarterback Noah Miedema is one of a vanishing breed the multisport athlete.
Back in the day, high school kids almost always played more than one sport. Single-sport athletes were the exception, not the norm.
Today, in an age of specialization, kids more frequently focus on one sport. Two-sport athletes are becoming less common and three-sport athletes are even more rare.
So you almost never hear of a four-sport athlete anymore.
Just don't tell Miedema, who might play in his 16th athletic campaign by the time his senior year comes to a close in June.
For the past two years, Miedema has played football in the fall, wrestled and played basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring four sports per year. As a freshman, there was no wrestling program at BVC, so he had to settle for three sports. To make up for it, Miedema is considering adding track and field to this year's spring schedule.
That would make him the rarest of all birds a five-sport athlete.
"My favorite sport is the sport I'm playing at any particular time," Miedema said. "My dad says I'm best at baseball."
And his grades haven't suffered. He carried a 3.6 weighted grade-point average last year. That means he nearly had an A average taking brainiac courses.
"Once, when I lost a wrestling tournament, I thought maybe it was all a bit too much," said Miedema. "But with the encouragment of my dad and coaches, I got through that."
FISTER IN RELIEF Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a major-league pitcher the night before a postseason start?
If you're the Detroit Tigers' Doug Fister, you not only had to worry about the Oakland A's lineup, you also had to worry about high school girls water polo results.
Monday night, less than 24 hours before facing the A's in an ALDS elimination game at Detroit's Comerica Park, the 2002 graduate of Merced's Golden Valley High School called the Merced Sun-Star sports department with results of Merced High's 14-8 victory over Buhach Colony.
"I kinda laughed when he told me he was calling in water polo scores," said Sun-Star prep editor Shawn Jansen. "We don't get many guest callers."
Fister dates Merced girls coach Ashley Phelps, who hopped on a plane bound for Detroit right after Monday's victory and asked her boyfriend, gearing up for a Game 4 start, to make the call.
MC'S ELLIS RANKED 30TH Modesto Christian High School's Christian Ellis has been named to Cal-Hi Sports' list of the top sophomore basketball players in the state. The 6-foot-2 Ellis, who was a starter for the 28-5 Crusaders last season, ranks 30th among the Class of 2016.
ZWAHLEN ON MEND Downey offensive coordinator Lynn Zwahlen, who experienced chest pains during last week's win over Gregori, will return to action Friday. Zwahlen walked to emergency personnel stationed near the field and was taken to the hospital. He was released Monday and will be in the booth Friday when Modesto plays Downey at Gregori High.
"I'm feeling pretty good," said Zwahlen. "I just need to take it easy."