Commentary

Aune keeps busy as two-sport athlete

Originally Published: August 10, 2011
By Harold Abend | Special to ESPNHS.com

To say it was a hectic week for Austin Aune of Argyle (Argyle, Texas) would be a massive understatement.

Before the Texas Rangers' Area Code Games centerfielder arrived in Long Beach, Calif., last Thursday, he had a full schedule that included practicing for the Eagles' football team he quarterbacks.

On Aug. 1, the TCU-bound Aune, who will play both baseball and football next year for the Horned Frogs, took the gridiron to begin preparation for his senior season at Argyle.

"It's going to be a busy week, but I can't wait to get out there and out of this heat," he said after the first of two-a-day practices in 105-degree temperatures that soared to 120 degrees on the Argyle artificial turf field.

On Aug. 2, Aune had morning practice and then went to a Rangers' scout game in the afternoon. Two days later Aune was back on the football field for two more practices. On Thursday, he had a morning practice then hopped on a plane for Long Beach.

"When I get back, we'll be in pads and you have to have four practices to wear pads," Aune remarked.

Baseball is big in Texas but not compared to football. One can only imagine how Aune's football coach feels about almost a week without his star who threw for 2,484 yards and 25 touchdowns on a team a went 13-1 before losing in the quarterfinals of the Texas 3A state championships.

"At first, he was excited for me but then I could see he was stressed out. Today was a great practice, though, and coach knows I'm ready," Aune said on Monday, Aug. 1.

While his prowess in football originally got him the TCU offer, baseball is just as important to Aune.

"My goal and my dream are to play Major League baseball. We'll have to see how football turns out," said Aune, who batted .490 each of the past two seasons with seven home runs as a sophomore and six as a junior.

"When TCU offered me for football I told Coach (Gary) Patterson that baseball was a big part of my life," Aune told ESPNHS. "He said if I wanted to try and play both he didn't have a problem with it. He talked to the baseball coach, and they came out to look at me and said, 'We can use you on the baseball team.'"

One thing Aune wanted to acknowledge in his success is the strong support of his family.

His father, Greg Aune, played golf in college at Texas, and his mother, Karen Aune, ran track and was a cheerleader in high school.

All three younger siblings play sports. Turner,12, plays basketball and football, Chad,10, plays baseball, basketball and football, and Carrie, 7 plays basketball and baseball with the boys since Argyle is too small to field a girls' softball program.

"My mom and dad come to every game and are definitely my biggest fans," Austin said. "They're the whole reason I'm where I am today."

So, what is Austin's favorite sport?

"I get asked that all the time. I tell everyone it's an in-season thing. In football season I love football best, and during baseball season it's baseball.

Goals for Area Code?

"My top goal is to play hard, respect the game and show good character. If I do that, everything will turn out all right. I also want to have fun and not be too hard on myself."

Favorite player?

"Josh Hamilton. He's had some off-field problems, but he handles himself on the field. He's a freak on the baseball field. How far he hits the ball and how athletic he is. He's fun to watch. No, it's definitely not any (San Francisco) Giants, but I do like Brian Wilson's beard."

Tips for youngsters?

"Work hard at everything you do, especially in school. In class, I try to get straight A's. Some people think it's not cool, but good grades help a lot. At your sport, work hard not just on the field but in the weight room, too. I'm a gym rat. Lastly, you always have to have fun because if you're not having fun why play the sport?