Grant Reviere recently celebrated winning a state championship with his ice hockey club team based in Memphis.
He and two teammates at Trinity Christian Academy are trying to win a couple of more championships in school competition.
Reviere and fellow Lions senior Philip Orange along with freshman Brad Brookfield play on the tennis team with plans of returning to Murfreesboro in May for the state tournament at Spring Fling, but the trio are also a part of the TCA inline hockey team competing in the West Tennessee Inline Hockey Association at North Park.
While being a multisport athlete isn’t exactly a rarity in West Tennessee, there aren’t many who play two sports at the same time.
“It’s just a matter of balancing everything, but both teams are usually good about not having conflicting games,” Reviere said. “Which usually our hockey games are on Friday nights, and our tennis matches usually aren’t on Friday.
“And if they were, they’re done before hockey games start.”
This is Brookfield’s first year to play both sports, as he and his parents weren’t sure if he could handle the load of two sports and school work at the same time as an eighth-grader a year ago.
“It feels like a lot of work for me sometimes,” Brookfield said. “Some days there’s tennis practice or a match then hockey practice or a game and then homework.
“I love to play both sports and need to do well in class to play them, so I do it.”
Neither Orange nor Reviere have a lot of experience in both sports. Last year was the first year for Orange to play hockey and Reviere to play tennis, and each played at the other’s urging.
“The hockey team needed a goalie, so Grant asked me to come out,” Orange said. “What I didn’t know was there would be a lot of pucks fired off at me in practice.”
It was actually in the garage at Reviere’s home – his dad, Rusty, coaches the hockey team – where they set up a goal and did drills to help Orange learn to play goalie.
“We just got in the garage and fired shots at him,” Reviere said laughing. “But he picked it up pretty quickly. He’s athletic enough that I hoped he would.”
Reviere said Orange wanted him to join the Lions’ tennis team before their junior season after Reviere had tried other spring sports like track and field and soccer.
“I went out and tried it and had played a few times, and I enjoy it,” Reviere said. “We had a good team last year, and I think we could be better this year and want to get back to state to see what we can do.”
All three players said there’s not a lot of work that needs to be done to be physically ready on those rare days when competition in both days are on the schedule.
“If you play tennis consistently enough, you’re either already in shape or you will be,” Orange said. “And the same thing with hockey.
“If we’re playing both, then hopefully we’re ready to go.”
It was on the day of the tennis region tournament last year when Orange and Reviere played a doubles match against a team from Haywood right after school at North Park. Upon finishing, they didn’t have a lot of time before they had to make the walk to the hockey rink at the park.
“Those days don’t happen that often, so it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me,” Reviere said. “Because most days when we do practice or play tennis in the afternoon, there are no lights at our courts at TCA, so we have to be done before it gets dark.
“Then usually we’ll either go to North Park because they have lights to play hockey, or we’ll go to my house and get some work in.”
Now the three Lions are helping both squads compete. The WTILHL is still building with three teams – TCA, University School of Jackson and a conglomerate team with players from all over the area and Memphis. The tennis team’s goal of getting back to state are within reach as the Lions are unbeaten so far under coach Phillip Robinson.
“We just go out there and do our best no matter which sport it is,” Reviere said. “We want to win no matter what we’re playing.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751