Kevin Simms is a busy person.
Kevin Simms is a busy person.
In addition to excelling in the classroom, the Westland High School senior also plays baseball and is on the boys track and field team. In baseball he bats lead off and plays second base. In his first season on the track team, he has contributed on the relays and has been a middle distance specialist.
"I talked to (baseball coach Dave Daniels) and he said I could do track if I made baseball my first option, which is more than I can ask for," Simms said.
After track practice, Simms joins the baseball team for either practice or a game. He has played baseball since he was 4 and admits it's his favorite.
"I like baseball better because I've played it for all my life, but I still enjoy running a lot," Simms said.
After playing tee ball at the YMCA, he played in the Westland Youth Athletic Association program. He played travel baseball until his freshman season at Westland. Simms played junior varsity his sophomore season and split time on the junior varsity and varsity last season.
This season, the Cougars were 0-4 in the OCC-Central Division after a 17-2 loss to Hilliard Davidson last Wednesday. Simms had a single and scored one of the runs.
Westland was 5-5 overall before its game against Upper Arlington last Thursday. The Cougars will play host to Worthington Kilbourne on Monday, Briggs on Tuesday and Central Crossing on Friday and visit Thomas Worthington on Wednesday and Upper Arlington on Friday. They will compete in the Best of the South-Western Classic at Grove City on Saturday.
Simms ran cross country last fall and joined the track program at the urging of cross country coach Josh Barkeloo.
"Kevin was our top runner in the fall," said Barkeloo, who is an assistant in track. "He put in a really great season for us. He ended the season on a high note, and this is his first year doing track. We tried to double up on baseball and track, and it actually works out pretty well because baseball has so many rained out games. Since we have all-weather tracks, we can race when baseball can't play. He's still able to come out here and compete, which is good because it keeps kids active."
Simms helped the Cougars beat Kilbourne 65-63 last Tuesday at Kilbourne as he ran the third leg for the winning 3,200-meter relay (8 minutes, 58.44 seconds). Ben Warner, Keith Carius and Abdi Omer joined Simms on the relay.
"Kevin is one of our stronger kids when he's there," track coach Tim Eckard said. "We've been the benefit of bad weather because baseball has been canceled so much. The bad weather this year has been a blessing in disguise because we've got to have Kevin Simms a few more times than we expected. We want kids to participate. Dave Daniels has been great. We share him. The number of athletes we have come out are somewhat limited, so we sometimes have to share athletes. It's not real common, but we're willing to do anything to get bodies out."
The girls team lost to Kilbourne 109-28.
The Cougars, who competed in the Africentric Invitational last Friday, will play host Thomas Worthington on Tuesday and compete in the Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights on Friday.