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Perhaps the greatest compliment you can give Tyler Fernandez is that you can’t decide what his best sport is.
The rising junior at Rye Country Day School is a rare athlete of his generation. In an age of specialization, Fernandez still plays football, basketball and baseball. And entering the 2012-13 school year — his third varsity season in all three sports — he’s on the brink of stardom in each.
“All three sports have been a part of my life since I was little,” Fernandez said. “I eventually want to play college baseball. But football and basketball right now are more fun. I don’t want to let my team down, either. I want to play all three.”
His sophomore year wasn’t too shabby. He’s was selected to the All-Fairchester Athletic Association team in all three sports, a rare distinction, especially for a sophomore.
In football, Fernandez started in the secondary for the second year in a row. He recorded 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception in 10 games as the Wildcats went undefeated and won their first ever NEPSAC bowl game.
Fernandez, a 5-foot-11, 160-pounder, saw action as the RCDS’s third running back, posting 315 yards and four touchdowns with impressive was his 9.6 yards-per-carry average.
This fall, Fernandez steps in as the Wildcats’ primary back and could see upwards of 20 carries per game.
“We are losing a lot of seniors off a really good team,” Fernandez said. “I’m going to have to step up and become a leader. We lost 10 starters on offense and the same 10 on defense. Raishaun McGhee and I are going to play a vital role and need to contribute a lot.”
Fernandez had another productive season in basketball, leading the team in scoring and establishing himself as a premier 3-point shooter. After averaging 11 points as a freshman, he led RCDS with 16 points as a sophomore.
Fernandez played his best in the postseason, guiding the Wildcats to a NYSAIS C Division state championship. He had 22 points in a quarterfinal win over Brunswick, 14 against Lawrence-Woodmere in the semis, and then 16 in the final against Packer Collegiate in the championship.
In baseball, Fernandez was RCDS’s top pitcher and No. 2 hitter in the lineup for the second year in a row. As a pitcher he posted an ERA under 3.00 and batted just over .300.
“I’m probably going to play baseball in college,” Fernandez said. “Lefty pitchers don’t come around that often and they’re in high demand for colleges, so I’m probably going to follow through with that because I love pitching.”
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