Janesville Parker’s Albeck responds to the challenge of excelling in three sports
The Albeck file
Person I admire most: My mother (Sherry).
Pregame routine: Pray during the national anthem.
Best sports memory: Beating Craig in football this year, 50-23.
Significance of uniform number: No. 3, the same number my brother, Evan, wore.
Favorite pastime: Hanging out with friends.
Favorite movie: "The Hangover," either one.
In 10 years, I'll be: Hopefully, have a successful life.
Best invention in the last 100 years: Phone.
An unusual thing the average person wouldn't know about me: I really like country music.
Dream job: Play in the NFL.
If I could have one super power, it would be: To fly.
If I could play any other sport, it would be: Cricket.
My favorite saying: "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."
If I could have dinner with one famous person, it would be: Aaron Rodgers.
What music or artists are on your iPod: A mix of country.
JANESVILLE The days of the three-sport athlete are dwindling.
If a high school athlete wants to be special, he or she must specialize.
That means if you want to play college basketball, you have to concentrate on basketball year-round.
Erik Albeck is bucking that trend.
The Janesville Parker High School senior fills his calendar with football, basketball and track and field, as well as a daily devotion to the weight room.
What’s Albeck’s reward? He has transformed himself into one of the top all-around athletes to come out of Janesville.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Albeck was an all-state, first-team selection at defensive back this past season. He led the state with eight interceptions.
On the basketball court, Albeck is Parker’s second-leading scorer and a lockdown defender. He has also competed at the WIAA state track meet the past two seasons.
“Erik’s on-field performances have spoken for themselves,” Parker football coach Joe Dye said, “and not just in football. And I think the biggest reason Erik’s had such good success in whatever he has done is because of his level of consistency.
“He’s deceptively fast and had great closing speed on the football field. And he’s a very intense competitor.”
Albeck plans to play football in college and is sorting through his options. He hopes to decide before the Feb. 1 signing date.
Although specializing has become the norm and not the exception, Albeck is glad to have done things the old- fashioned way.
“As much as I like playing football, I don’t know what I would do without basketball or track and the friends I made being in three sports,” Albeck said. “I think that’s what high school is all about.”
Albeck has skills that set him apart on the basketball court. He can jump out of the gym, runs the court fluidly, and can finish strong at the rim. He had between 12 and 15 dunks a year ago—no one was keeping track—including a thunderous two-handed slam over a helpless Beloit Memorial defender that nearly brought the house down.
Parker boys basketball coach Ryan Masterson gets to see Albeck’s skills daily. He marvels at his athleticism.
“Erik is probably the most athletic player I’ve ever coached,” Masterson said. “He can handle any assignment you give him on the court, whether it’s guarding someone taller than him, rebounding or simply being a good leader.
“His skill set and competitive fire are going to translate very well at the next level,” Masterson said. “He’s going to be a very, very good college football player.”
College will signal the end of Albeck’s three-sport routine. He will concentrate on football.
Given how well he did in high school dividing his time and attention three ways, a focused Albeck could be destined for success at the next level.