For the love of two sports. |
That is why Chris Warnecke plays both basketball for the University of Regina Cougars and football for the Regina Rams.
"I have the opportunity [to play two sports], so I don't want to waste it," says Warnecke. "They're both equal on my list."
Warnecke has played two seasons for the Cougars. In the 1995/96 season, he was named GPAC rookie of the year.
Warnecke states he was phoned by Rams head coach Frank McCrystal over the past two years about playing for the Rams. Warnecke could never make up his mind on playing football during that time.
"I had a couple of friends (Dennis Kotsetas and B.K. Waldo) playing for the Rams, who told me to come back," says Warnecke.
Success followed Warnecke in the game of football as he scored three touchdowns and was named the Prairie Junior Football Conference's (PFC) most Outstanding Rookie Receiver. Warnecke had a monster game in the Rams PFC Championship victory over the Saskatoon Hilltops as he caught three passes for 175 yards, and scored three touchdowns. He also caught the
| game tying touchdown in the Rams 38-31 comeback victory over the Windsor AKO Fratmen last weekend.|
"The guys (Warnecke's basketball teammates) are excited for him that he scored three touchdowns against the Hilltops," says James Hillis, Warnecke's basketball coach.
Hillis states he knew Warnecke wanted to get back into football. Hillis fears that Warnecke might get injured in football.
"In the grand scheme of things, I'm okay with [Warnecke playing football]," says Hillis.
Many factors contribute to Warnecke's success at both sports. His speed and his athletic ability are noticeable to everyone. His jumping ability allows him to reverse slam dunk a basketball and out-jump undersized defensive backs for touchdowns.
"He likes to have fun out there. Anything he puts his mind to he can be successful at," says Rams quarterback Chad Ehman.
Both of Warnecke's coaches also point out that Warnecke's intelligence helps him succeed.
"He's very bright, mature, and I think a goal oriented young man," says McCrystal.
Many people believe that Warnecke's increased size and toughness from
| football will help him with basketball.|
"A basketball hit will seem like nothing [to Warnecke]. It will be like a fly hitting him," says Cougar captain Dale Holmes.
Warnecke states that the preparation to playing both sports are different. He points out that one has to be more mentally prepared to concentrate on individual assignments in football, while basketball is a reactionary sport.
"In football you got to prepare yourself to get your head knocked off," says Warnecke.
Warnecke's most memorable moment to this point in sports occurred when the Rams won the PFC title. Warnecke also liked playing in the GPAC finals.
"Playing for the Rams, an organization that's winning all the time, I hope I can bring that back to the Cougars," says Warnecke, "Winning is an attitude. Being mentally prepared has as much to do [with winning] as skill."
All of Warnecke's teammates on either of his teams think it is great Warnecke can play two sports. Warnecke also leaves advice to those who may want to follow in his footsteps.
"Take advantage of it, if you get the opportunity."