Sports

Tarantino scores TD, hits triple on same day for St. Francis

 Johnny Tarantino
Courtesy of Briana Gaskill
Senior Johnny Tarantino of St. Francis High is playing both baseball and football this spring.

Two weeks ago, Johnny Tarantino helped the St. Francis High football and baseball teams win games on the same day – catching a touchdown pass against Mitty in the afternoon and ripping an RBI triple that evening versus Carlmont.

This Saturday, he has the chance to do it again. Only this time, the Lancers will be facing rival Bellarmine in both sports. St. Francis hosts the Bells at 11 a.m. in baseball and at 6 p.m. in football.

“It should be a lot of fun,” the outfielder and wide receiver said.

Football and baseball are usually played months apart, but the Central Coast Section’s revamped seasons – fueled by the pandemic – created some overlap between the two sports Tarantino has participated in since elementary school. Already committed to Santa Clara University to play baseball next year, he certainly could have skipped the six-week football season to focus on what he said “has always been my No. 1 sport.”

While the thought crossed his mind – especially after the Lancers’ preseason football scrimmage was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns – Tarantino decided to make the most of his senior season.

“I would have definitely missed football, so I was pretty determined to play both,” he said. “With everything taken away (by the pandemic), I wanted to do as much as I could this year.”

Tarantino added that his two-sport schedule “has been pretty exciting,” even though it creates “some pretty long days.” Practices run about three hours for football and up to 90 minutes for baseball, but Tarantino said his coaches “have given me some leeway.”

Both teams have benefited, after all. Tarantino is among the Lancers’ top receivers, snaring a 34-yard TD pass in the 41-8 rout of Mitty April 10. On the diamond, Tarantino has belted two homers, driven in four runs and scored five times. His first triple of the year came in the 5-0 victory over Carlmont April 10.

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