Seffner Christian two-sport senior Steven Cunningham is approaching the end of one of the most prolific winter sports seasons of any Hillsborough County athlete. As a striker on the Crusaders soccer team, Cunningham tallied seven goals in a district tournament contest at Santa Fe Catholic. As a shooting guard on the basketball team, he has made a school season-record 55 3-pointers and drained 10 in one December night -- after playing a soccer game that afternoon. On the eve of SCA's Class 1A region semifinal against Bradenton Christian, the Times caught up with Cunningham -- among a handful of Crusaders soccer/basketball players, for a brief Q & A.
How did you handle practices in both sports (Until this season, soccer was a fall sport at SCA)?
"Practices were difficult. We'd go from two hours of soccer practice, and (boys basketball coach Roger Duncan) would try to have the girls practice first and the guys last, so we'd make it for the last hour of basketball practice."
Surely there must have been a conflict with key soccer and basketball games at the same time?
"Not any one serious. The very first time you play a team that's the game that counts (toward district standings). So whatever team we hadn't played yet and it was harder, that was the game we'd go to. ... If it's a must-win you go to the must-win game. We almost had a conflict. If we would've won our last soccer game (a Class 2A region quarterfinal) we would've had to choose between (the region semis) and playing the district semifinals in basketball which would've made or broke our season."
How exhausted are you at the end of a typical day?
Not as bad as you'd think, but now toward the end of the year I'm getting physically just tired."
What's your favorite sport?
"Basketball. It's always been my sport. Soccer I've never really paid attention to until my freshman year and sophomore year."
What was working for you the night you hit 10 3-pointers at Calvary Christian (on Dec. 11)?
"I don't know, that gym just felt great. Warm-ups I was hitting everything. I was like, 'You know what, we played this team two years ago and they hit about 15 3's on us.' I mean, it felt like payback."
You had a soccer game the same day (a win at Cambridge Christian). How did you manage that logistically?
We left right when the game was over; we left before we shook the other team's hand. It was me, Bradley (Moorer) and Steven (Bush) with Bradley's parents. (Bradley's dad) drove us there. We got there right as the JV game was ending."
Talk about your seven-goal night in the district tournament romp at Santa Fe Catholic.
"Oh man, that was probably my favorite game out of both sports this season. Earlier in the season, probably around our third or fourth game, our goalie (Bush) got hurt in the game against them and they broke his foot, and it was his first game back. It was like, payback again. It just felt so good. That's the game I most wanted, just for him."
Did you know?
* Cunningham's full name is Steven Randall Cunningham. And yes, the other Randall Cunningham once was his favorite quarterback.
* He turns 19 Wednesday.
* He is the second-oldest of four siblings. The other three are girls.