MIGUEL FLETCHER: ALEMANY ALUM IS UP TO SPEED.Byline: Kirby Lee Special to the Daily News
Miguel Fletcher balanced football and track at Alemany High without a problem. But juggling the sports his freshman year at USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. has been a new experience for the Canyon Country resident.
For the past three weeks, Fletcher has been participating in spring football practice as well as competing in track.
``It has been a learning experience,'' Fletcher said. ``I am in good shape because of all the movement from football but I am out of track shape. I'm a little bit rusty. I feel a little bit sluggish after 50 yards.''
Spring football practices began March 26 and runs through April 23. Commitments to football kept Fletcher out of the Trojans' track meet against North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , North Carolina State and Georgetown last Saturday.
Fletcher, however, will run in the Mt. San Antonio College Mt. San Antonio College (commonly called Mt. SAC; pronounced as the word "sack") is a community college located in the Los Angeles suburb of Walnut, California, next to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona which is just over a hill.
Mt. Relays Sunday in the University/Open 100 meters. This season, he has a wind-aided best of 10.39 at the UNLV UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas Invitational on April 10. A spot on the Trojans' 400-meter relay team at the Pac-10 and NCAA NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association championships could hinge on Verb 1. hinge on - be contingent on; "The outcomes rides on the results of the election"; "Your grade will depends on your homework"
depend on, depend upon, devolve on, hinge upon, turn on, ride his performance at Mt. SAC.
As an Alemany senior, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound Fletcher finished second in the state in the 100 meters. He also tied for the state's fastest mark of the year of 10.36 in winning the Southern Section Division III
Division III (or DIII) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the United States. title.
In football, Fletcher was a 1997 Prep Star All-American and rushed for 3,350 yards and 30 touchdowns in three seasons.
Although he has yet to eclipse his high-school bests in track, Fletcher said his 100 times have been more consistent than ever. He has run three times under 10.5 this season. Last season, Fletcher ran 20.94 for 200, the state's No. 2 mark in 1998, but has yet to run a competitive deuce this spring.
Fletcher is not the only Trojan sprinter pulling double-duty in track and football. Senior Chad Morton Chad Morton (born April 4, 1977 in Torrance, California) is an American football running back and kick/punt returner who is currently a free agent in the National Football League. , the Trojan's leading rusher in 1998, and freshman redshirt Sultan McCullough Sultan McCullough (born February 12, 1980 in Pasadena, California) is an American football running back in the National Football League who is now signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. are also competing in both sports.
The list will grow next season with incoming freshmen; defensive back Darrell Rideaux and wide receiver Kareem Kelly Kareem Kelly (born April 1, 1981 in Los Angeles, California) is a Canadian Football League wide receiver. He attended the University of Southern California where he played football and track and majored in sociology. His sports hero is Muhammad Ali. of Long Beach Poly, the defending state 100- and 200-meter champions; as well as wide receiver Marcell Allmond of St. Paul, the 1998 State 110-meter high hurdle champion.
The arrangement seems to work well. USC football coach Paul Hackett, himself a contributor to the Trojans' track booster club, has made it no secret of his mission to emphasize team speed.
At USC, Fletcher, who redshirted his freshman year, has made the move from tailback to cornerback this spring in hopes of greater playing time. Senior Petros Papadakis, McCullough and sophomore redshirt Malaefou MacKenzie are also battling for playing time behind Morton.
``It is all basic instincts and reaction,'' Fletcher said about the move to cornerback. ``It's not too much of a change. Plus, I like hitting people.''
Not has much has changed in his first year living away from home. He calls his parents in Canyon Country regularly and visits on the weekends. His father Ned, who coached Fletcher in track in childhood, comes to watch USC track workouts once or twice a week.
``He has taught me to be a good listener to make myself a better athlete,'' Fletcher said. ``All the talent here in practice makes you more aware than if you work out on your own. That is going to pay off when you get into a competition.''
PHOTO USC sprinter/football player Miguel Fletcher, who will run today at Mt. SAC, is having a busy spring trying to juggle both sports.
Kirby Lee/Special to the Daily News