Gaona in the Game: Amazing year for Bushman

Sabino's 3-sport star to choose between baseball and football
2013-05-03T00:00:00Z Gaona in the Game: Amazing year for BushmanDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star
May 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

One way or another, Matt Bushman knew he was going to be playing a sport this week.

He just didn't know which one.

Sabino's 6-foot-5-inch 205-pound junior is a three-sport, year-round athlete. He plays football, basketball and baseball.

Until last week, it had been baseball season for him. Then, on Tuesday, he got back to football when the Sabercats' spring practice started. It never ends.

"I like going straight from sport to sport," Bushman said. "Always being busy and just always staying in shape for everything. All the sports help with hand-eye coordination and everything, so I like all three.

"Ever since I've been a little kid, like 5 years old, I've played tackle football, baseball and basketball."

Bushman said he can't pick a favorite sport from the three and that's why he plays all of them. He's good at them all, too.

In the fall, Bushman caught 41 passes for 951 yards and 10 scores as Sabino went 10-1 and made the Division III state tournament.

Over the winter, he averaged a double-double with a 13.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.

Then, to cap his junior year, he led the baseball team in hits (39), RBIs (31) and home runs (8) with a team-best .438 batting average.

As our Greg Hansen wrote earlier this week, he's an easy choice for athlete of the year.

"He's obviously a very good athlete and, at this level, very few kids could pull off three sports in one year," Sabino football coach Jay Campos said. "But it speaks volumes to what he's capable of doing in terms of his athleticism."

Bushman could have a future in the sport of his choice. But, by the end of the summer, he wants to decide between football and baseball.

Campos thinks Bushman's best option would be football. He is rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com and has offers from the UA, BYU, Colorado, Duke, San Diego State and Utah.

"If you look at being able to get the whole package in college, then you'd definitely want to go the football route because they can give 85 full scholarships," Campos said.

In reality, Bushman would like to keep playing both baseball and football in college. Right now, his best chance to play both would be at BYU, where he has offers for in both sports. Bushman was told if he chooses football there, he'd still be welcome to play baseball, too.

"I've always wanted to try to play both in college if I were able to," Bushman said. "That would be pretty awesome, but I still need to decide what I want to do."

Tennis state semis today

Catalina Foothills and Ironwood Ridge will meet for the third time this season today at 10 a.m. in the Division II boys state semifinals at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.

I-Ridge and Foothills are both in the Division II girls semifinals which start at 10 a.m.

The Pusch Ridge Christian boys and Desert Christian girls will also be at Paseo in the Division III semifinals. Those matches are at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively

Salpointe's boys and girls teams will both be playing in the Division I semifinals which are at Scottsdale Ranch Park starting at noon with the girls. The boys play at 3 p.m.

Former Lancer named to Golden Spikes watch list

Salpointe Catholic grad and Notre Dame junior closer Dan Slania was named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.

Slania recorded his 26th career save with the Irish on April 24 to set a school record. He has a ridiculous 0.25 ERA and 10 saves in 19 appearances this year.

College signings

• Rincon/University distance runner Ryan Silva will continue his career at Stanford. He made his decision this week after narrowing his final three choices to Stanford, Brown and MIT.

• Sierra Vista Buena basketball star RaShawn Avery, who holds the school record with 18.2 points per game, signed to play at Trinidad (Colo.) State junior college.

• Mountain View swimmer Kelsey Wuoti, a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, signed with UNLV this week.

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at dgaona@azstarnet.com or 807-7761. On Twitter @DanielGaona13

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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