A hectic life for Xavier's Jess Callahan and Emily Jasper

HS journalism: Both the two wouldn't have it any other way

Xavier’s Jess Callahan (left) and Emily Jasper are dedicated to Saints basketball and club volleyball. (Xavier Xpress)
Xavier’s Jess Callahan (left) and Emily Jasper are dedicated to Saints basketball and club volleyball. (Xavier Xpress)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Behind all of the hard work and dedication is just an athlete who fell in love with the sport.

Many may not know how hard it is to be a multisport athlete and what it entails. Juggling a high school sport and a club sport at the same time can be quite difficult, and many may question why one would do both.

Xavier senior Jess Callahan and sophomore Emily Jasper know this firsthand.

In many cases, their practices and tournaments overlap. They are dedicated to their high school basketball team and their club volleyball teams. Callahan plays for the Iowa Rockets and Jasper for the Adrenaline Volleyball Academy.

The two have found a way to balance being on both teams and staying caught up with everything else in life.

Callahan knows she has made a commitment to both of her teams. She even traveled to St. Louis once for a volleyball game and back to Cedar Rapids for a Xavier basketball game, then back to St. Louis for the rest of the volleyball tournament in two days.

She would not travel so far if she did not love both her teams and the sports. Her family loves to travel with her, which makes for some great memories.

“I had a regional semifinal game for basketball against Clear Creek Amana at Xavier on February 18. I also had a volleyball tournament in St. Louis,” Callahan said. “After basketball practice on Friday, I drove down to St. Louis and got there around midnight. I played volleyball Saturday morning and had to leave in the middle of a match in order to make it back in time for our basketball game. I then left right after the basketball game to go back to St. Louis, got back at 1 a.m. and played at 8 a.m. on Sunday.


“Since the tournament extended into Monday, I didn’t get back until Monday night and missed basketball practice, so I went and shot around at the gym with my dad.”

Jasper also plays for a club volleyball team and Xavier’s girls’ basketball team. Jasper spends most of her time at practices or games, and has to fit in time with friends on the weekends she does not have tournaments. It can be hard to spend time with her family because usually only one parent will drive her up to the tournaments.

“I had to play my semifinal basketball game on Saturday, February 18, then drive up to Chicago after the game was over,” Jasper said. “I played volleyball on Sunday then drove back home for basketball practice. After practice, I drove back to Chicago to play in the last day of the tournament on Monday. After we finished playing on Monday, I drove back for basketball practice.”

It is hard to imagine a life with practices every night and tournaments most weekends, but for Callahan and Jasper, it has become a habit.

They have found a way to give 100 percent of themselves to two teams.



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