Two sports, same season: Miye Kodama, Stevie Carmona juggling basketball, soccer at Louisville High

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ENICINO — Cami Kodama was torn. She kept contemplating whether to stay or go as she anxiously pattered her feet in the stands.

She was at Crespi High watching her daughter, Miye, play a soccer game Saturday afternoon while her son, Ethan, was playing in a baseball game just a few miles away.

“I feel bad,” she said out loud.

A moment later she asked her husband Rob, “What’s the score?”

“2-0,” Rob responded, reading from his phone.

“Oh, good. How’s Ethan batting?” she asked.

“We’re losing,” Rob said.

It was a glimpse into the life of the Kodamas, the epitome of an athletic family ruled by the love of competition, games and tournaments on the weekends.

“They love it. We support them, so I guess we’re partly to blame,” Rob Kodama said laughing.

Ethan Kodama is a senior and baseball player at Crespi who is committed to play at Cal. Miye Kodama is a junior at Louisville High, where she competes in soccer, basketball and track.

“She wanted to play softball, but we couldn’t fit it in,” Cami said.

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Multi-sport athletes seem rare nowadays. Many high schoolers focus on one sport and play it year-round.

What Miye Kodama does is rare, playing basketball and soccer at the same time. Both are winter season sports. But what’s going on at Louisville High is more than rare. Her childhood friend, Stevie Carmona, a senior at Louisville, plays both sports, too.

Two athletes at the same school juggling two sports in one season. That’s not rare; that’s an anomaly.

“I’ve been playing sports all my life, but basketball and soccer are my favorite,” Miye said. “People ask me all the time which one is my favorite, and I can never choose. I’m grateful that Louisville doesn’t make me.”

The CIF Southern Section rules state that a student-athlete can participate in up to 18 hours of activity per week. Games account for three hours no matter the length of the contest.

“It’s a great outlet for me,” Carmona said. “I love sports. So why not play as many as I can?”

It’s a juggling act that requires discipline, planning and a want-to.

Kodama and Carmona’s schedule Jan. 16 through Jan. 21 included soccer games on Monday and Wednesday, a basketball game Tuesday and a dose of each sport on Saturday.

Miye, who is the leading goal-scorer for the Royals with 14 in 11 matches, scored two goals and assisted on another in the team’s 4-1 win over Immaculate Heart at 1 p.m. and she was in the starting lineup for the basketball team’s win over Marymount at 6 p.m.

In between games, Kodama ate, did homework and recovered. Recovery usually includes one of two things, compression or an ice bath. The compression is done with Normatec leg boots. The ice bath isn’t as advanced.

“It’s ice, water and a trash can,” she said laughing. “It’s the worst, but I know it helps.”

Miye Kodama and Stevie Carmona have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Carmona, who starts at center back for the soccer team and at shooting guard for the basketball team, didn’t play in the basketball game Saturday night. She participated in a much more popular recovery approach: rest.

“It was a lot this week. I’m tired,” she said chuckling.

Kodama, who is the team’s best perimeter defender, laced up and played.

“My coaches do a great job of communicating and working together so I can do both,” Kodama said. “I sat out of basketball practice Thursday so I can play the game Saturday night, or else I would’ve been over hours.”

Louisville girls soccer coach Ariana Martinez and basketball coach Monica Hernandez welcome the logistical challenge.

“We work together because it benefits both student-athletes, and it benefits both programs,” Martinez said of sharing the players.

Hernandez said it even impacts the way she puts the basketball schedule together.

“If they were full-time basketball players, we might be able to play more games. But I think being able to accommodate them so they can get the experience they want is important,” Hernandez said. “Not many can do what they do. They’re an asset to both teams.”

Not only do Kodama and Carmona play, they start and star on two winning teams. The basketball team is in first place at 5-0 in the Sunshine League and the soccer team is tied for first with Marlborough at 3-0-1. The soccer team is hunting for the program’s first league title since 1991.

Carmona transferred from Sierra Canyon where she played soccer before coming to Louisville as a junior. Sierra Canyon’s girls basketball team is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Splitting time away from a program like that is highly unlikely, essentially making the possibility to play both nearly impossible.

“It was one or the other at Sierra Canyon, and I understood why,” Carmona’s mother, Carla, said. “As a parent, it’s really nice to see coaches being so accommodating. She has a special schedule.”

Carmona averages 12 points per game this season and notched a season-high 27 points against Calabasas.

Carmona and Kodama also run track, competing in the 100 and 200 meters and relay events.

Kodama’s mother played soccer at Cal State Northridge. Her father was the varsity boys soccer coach at Crespi for 20 years. But the love for basketball started at youth camps when she was 5 years old. She averages six points, four steals and five rebounds per game for the Royals.

Miye Kodama and Stevie Carmona have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Miye Kodama and Stevie Carmona have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Stevie Carmona and Miye Kodama have made an impact on both the soccer field and and the basketball court for Louisville High School.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

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“I’m an energy player,” Kodama said. “I like playing defense, taking charges, diving for a loose ball. That’s my role.”

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Kodama and Carmona have grown closer trekking to and from different practices and games. Their roles morph as they switch from the turf to the hardwood. Kodama scores on the pitch while Carmona makes sure no goals are scored. Carmona “gets buckets” as her father Steve likes to say, while Kodama grins at the opportunity to lock down the opponent’s best perimeter player.

So far, Kodama and Carmona — and the coaches — have handled the logistics with flying colors. Luckily for all parties, there will be no conflict come playoff time. The CIF Southern Section girls soccer playoff dates are Feb. 6, 8, 10, 14 and 17. The basketball playoffs dates fall on Feb. 7, 9, 11, 15 and 18. The soccer team is in Division 5 and the basketball team is in Division 3AA.

If the tandem can help both teams to a CIF title game, the championships are scheduled for Feb. 24-25. Might they have to play two championships in one day?

What a nice problem to have.

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