High School Sports

Specialize in one sport? No thanks, says three-sport Rogers athlete Egan, a WSU tennis signee

Rogers’ Madison Egan discusses season, future at WSU

Rogers High School Madison Egan discusses her senior season and future at Washington State
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Rogers High School Madison Egan discusses her senior season and future at Washington State

Madison Egan never bought into the thinking of only specializing in one sport. She always wanted to do everything.

“You meet so many new people,” Egan said. “Those memories that you’ll never forget. You can play one sport, but it just makes high school so much more enjoyable (doing multiple sports). You just create friendships forever.”

If that’s the case, the Rogers High School senior has a lot of friends. Egan has been a three-sport, four-year varsity athlete for the Rams in cross country, basketball and tennis.

In every sport, she’s made it to the state tournament every season, reaching state 11 times in the three sports. Barring something unforeseen, she’ll make it a perfect 12-for-12 with a trip to the Class 4A state tennis tournament this spring.

Egan’s best sport is tennis — she’s a Washington State University tennis signee — and she placed third in singles in the 4A state tournament as a sophomore and fourth as a junior.

“She has a level of determination and grit that you just don’t see in the average kid,” said Rogers tennis coach Nathan Whitley. “She’s willing to go out and fix things, she spends a lot of time working on her game. Her mindset on the court, she doesn’t dwell on the mistakes and she’s always looking for ways to improve.”

That’s not to say being a three-sport athlete doesn’t present its fair share of challenges.

“Time management is the biggest thing,” Egan said. “Making sure I stay up on my studies, because that’s really important to me. So just making sure I create that balance and don’t overwork myself too much.”

There has been plenty of overlap with the sports, too. There are lessons and skills from each sport that cross over to the others.

“Cross country is sort of a mental grind, and it’s totally applicable here,” Whitley said. “With basketball, you have high-intensity situations, end of game moments, where a few shots make the difference. That’s tennis, as well.”

And the lateral quickness and footsped she developed on the basketball court has carried over, too.

“She really focused on that aspect of her game,” Rogers girls basketball coach Amy Looker said. “When I watch her play tennis now, she’s much quicker laterally than she used to be.”

That combination of skills has, by all accounts, at least contributed to Egan becoming one of the state’s best tennis players.

“I just love the competitiveness of it,” Egan said. “I love team sports, but I can see all my hard work coming to play with tennis. It’s really a mental game. I get to figure out my mental side while doing what I love.”

The mental part of the game is where Egan thrives, according to her tennis coach.

“She’s smart and has a really high tennis IQ,” Whitley said. “She can see her opponents’ weaknesses. She finds what’s working in her game that day. … She can grind out a match if she needs to. When she needs to turn it on and find winners, she can do that, too. She can go back and forth between aggressiveness and playing defensive.”

That determination led to an undefeated regular season in tennis for Egan, who was named the Class 4A SPSL Most Valuable Player this spring. And she’s hoping it’ll translate to a state title, next.

“I’m just spending a lot of time on the court, working on my weaker shots that I need to work on,” Egan said. “Just making sure I stay consistent with each shot I’m working on.”

Egan’s outgoing personality is also key to handling the demands of playing multiple sports. Looker said in basketball, Egan is a natural leader who helped organize team work outs and open gyms during the offseason. And at her core, she’s a competitor.

“It’s always been team before self, with her,” said Looker. “She’s always been a strong motivational leader. She’s highly driven with her goals.”

Said Whitley: “Off the court, she’s very bubbly and friendly, brings other players in, includes them in things. On the court, she can turn on a different switch. She has this ability to enjoy life, but also to just completely get after it.

“She has a winner’s attitude.”