PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Freshman year, I did a lot of walking,” said Penn Tech Junior Antonio Mercado.
Mercado travels a lot to play sports. He’s a standout athlete at Penn Tech, Camden, and Woodrow Wilson High Schools.
“I play football for Woodrow Wilson, I play baseball for Penn Tech, and I wrestle for Camden High. In my closet I have three different sports wears from three different schools and I’m like ‘this is weird.’ I change up every season,” he explains.
Because Antonio’s actual high school, Penn Tech, doesn’t have football or wrestling, a New Jersey rule allows him to play anywhere in the district that has a team.
His wrestling coach says it doesn’t seem to faze him at all.
“He loves to do all three of the things he does, so I don’t think it’s a difficult thing for him. I think it might be a difficult thing for the adults in his life, to make sure he gets to where he’s supposed to be all the time,” said Hedley Thame, Camden High’s wrestling coach.
Antonio excels at all three sports, and his coaches say that he’s a fantastic teammate and they love having him around.
“It’s an honor. It’s a privilege to have a kid like that to play for you. You know he’s always gonna be there, he’s always gonna work hard, he’s gonna do what it takes to get the job done, that’s how he’s been for us all year,” said Penn Tech Baseball Coach Rob Bryan.
“As a young person that I’ve met and get the chance to travel with with wrestling and talk to, he’s got his head on straight and that’s a good thing,” said Thame.
Some may wonder if all the travel is worth it, but not Antonio.
“It happens for every sport, I’m like ‘I don’t want to go to practice’ but when you go it’s like you don’t want to leave, it’s very fun, the love is what keeps me going,” Mercado said.