When left fielder James Timbers touched third base at the end of a towering triple that scored three runs and blew open Greater Loudoun's second win of the 16-year-old Babe Ruth World Series on Sunday night at Fireman's Field, the only celebration was a low-five he slapped to Manager Sam Plank as he reached the bag.
Forgive the two if they were too pooped for any more of a party.
Timbers is one of two players on the Greater Loudoun host team juggling baseball duties and high school football tryouts. Plank is likewise pulling double-duty -- he is an assistant football coach at Stone Bridge.
"It's been a busy schedule, to say the least," Plank said. "The hardest part is having a commitment to two different things at one time and trying to make sure we're giving both our full attention."
On Monday, for example, Plank reported to Stone Bridge at 7 a.m. in preparation for the Bulldogs' morning practice, which ran from 8 a.m. to noon. Coaches' meetings for football followed until 1:30. Plank then made his way over to the school's baseball field, where Greater Loudoun, which had a bye on Monday, practiced from 2 to 4 p.m. The second football practice of the day for the Bulldogs went from 5:30 to 8.
And that was just the coaches' schedule. Timbers actually had to suit up -- and go full-speed -- for all 81/2 hours of practice time.
"I probably should be icing myself down at night because I get so sore, but I'm just so tired by the time I get home I usually just pass out," Timbers said. "I've been trying to get as much sleep in as I possibly can."
Millbrook junior Jason Lombard, a reserve outfielder and pitcher for the Lions, has been keeping a similarly packed schedule. He is a returning starter at wide receiver for Millbrook and therefore also must factor in the 45-minute drive from the Winchester school to baseball practice in Ashburn.
"Football practice starts at 7:30, so I can be there in the morning, but I have to miss about half of our practice to get to come to baseball," Lombard said. "It helps, though, that all summer I went to football for weightlifting and running, and since I played last year I know everything already."
Timbers, a senior, doesn't have that luxury. This is his first season of football, where he is being evaluated at strong safety, blocking back and wide receiver.
"I worry about James," Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson said. "It wouldn't be such a concern if this wasn't his first year, but right now it's not only physical for him, but it's trying to stay ahead mentally.
"But Sam, do I feel sorry for him? No. I coach little league football, too, so I'm on the field longer than he is, and I've got about 20 years on him," Thompson teased. "These young guys just like to whine."
Of course, even the tough-nosed Thompson would acknowledge that coaching in the World Series is a bit more pressure-filled than heading a little league team. And as much as it pains both he and Millbrook Coach Rod Bowers for football to take a back seat to anything, each has said he understands the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the World Series presents.
"I'm a little torn because I want to be selfish and have them with us full time," Thompson said.
"But, of course, I want them to win it all first."