GREAT FALLS — It’s not that uncommon for athletes to play multiple sports during the same season.
Soccer players sometimes double as kickers for the football team, while some cross country runners are also on the golf team, for example.
But Great Falls eighth grader Remick Stevens, who attends Lady of Lourdes Middle School, is doing something unheard of: He’s playing two different sports in two different countries this fall, football and lacrosse.
A typical day during the week for Stevens consists of a two-hour football practice with the Lil' Mustangs at Great Falls Central Catholic High School, followed by an hour of shooting drills with his Great Falls Fury lacrosse coach Mark Prossner.
“Every week I have to run three kilometers,” Stevens said. “And I have to take about 100 shots each week.”
That schedule is crazy enough, but it jumps into overdrive on the weekends.
“We have Friday and Saturday football games. So after the Friday games, I wake up really early on Saturday and drive five hours to Calgary to go to practice and then we'll stay there till Sunday and then we'll drive back,” he said.
You read that right.
Every weekend this fall, Remick will play a football game on Friday or Saturday and then hop in the car and drive straight to Canada to play lacrosse with an elite travel team based out of Calgary. He’ll do homework in the hotel and then head back to Great Falls on Sunday.
It’s a grueling schedule, but worth it to the Stevens family.
“Being in Montana where lacrosse is still developing any opportunity that we can give him to be able to follow his dream is is really what we want to do as parents,” said his mother, Jamie Stevens, the Director of Athletics at Great Falls Central High School. “And I'm a big supporter of of athletics and activities for kids”
The dual sports commitments wasn’t in the cards until earlier this month. Remick has played lacrosse for three years and it quickly became his favorite sport. He’s flashed elite talent as a goalie.
“He’s a die-hard player, you know, super committed,” Prossner said. “He's very coachable, works hard and works hard at his craft. He works hard both off and on the field. He plays hard and is a good kid. He's the kind of goalie you build a defense around.”
This summer Remick attended camps in Denver and Calgary. When he got back from Canada the coach of Elev8 sent the Stevens family a message inviting him to a combine in August. Remick attended, not knowing what to expect.
Not only did Remick impress at the combine, he was invited to be the goalie of the high school level JV travel team.
Elev8 was founded by professional lacrosse legend Geoff Snider in 2007 with a goal of providing high level instruction and NCAA recruiting exposure. Remick dreams of someday playing college lacrosse.
“It means I can take it farther because they have connections to colleges in the US and Canada,” Remick said.
So the opportunity led the Stevens family figuring out the logistics of travel and scheduling in a short amount of time. And they’re determined to make it work.
“Sometimes grandmas and grandpas might be making the drive, but our goal is for him to make it up there at least one day a week when he plays football on Saturdays and hopefully two days a week with games on Fridays,” Jamie said.
From Great Falls to Canada, Remick Stevens will do whatever it takes to follow his dreams.