Two sports? Leonard decides he’ll go for three

AMHERST – Like most high school seniors, Max Leonard has plenty on his plate. Full course load in school, thoughts on the future – a returning varsity starter in baseball and basketball – he didn’t need for much but time in his life.

But Kyle Archambault and John Lohnes put the full-court press on this summer.

The returning Souhegan High football stars felt something special brewing under first-year coach Robin Bowkett. They wanted their boy, Leonard, to be a part of it.

“The last time I played football was like sixth or seventh grade,” said the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Leonard.

“They talked about the change in the program, about us throwing the football. They said that they needed me to come in and make some plays, and that I’d start at wide receiver.

“I believed them.”

So Leonard gave football a chance. He and the Sabers have been reaping the benefits since. Through four games (2-2) and the meat of its schedule, Leonard has proven to be quite the playmaker.

His four-catch, 118-yard, 2-TD performance absolutely broke rival Milford’s back on Friday night in the 20-12 Sabers victory.

On the season, Leonard has four TD catches and has even thrown for a score.

“It’s been really, really fun,” he said. “The decision to play turned out to be a great

one for me.”

Imagine that. In this age where more and more athletes see specialization as the answer, Leonard chose to diversify and is having a great time because of it.

“At a school like this, you absolutely need those multi-sport athletes to be successful,” said Bowkett Friday night after the win.

“He’s a basketball kid that came back, and he’s been making plays for us all year. He did a great job in the summer and eventually moved his way into the starting lineup.”

Leonard, who would like to pitch somewhere in college, said the return on his investment has been a handsome one.

“I’ve always loved playing football, and I’ve bought in,” he said. “Every guy out there on the field is a good friend. I’m really close with a lot of these guys. It’s a brotherhood. That’s one of the things I love about it most.”

Souhegan, after a couple lean seasons, is now pointing in the right direction. Friday night’s victory vs. Milford snapped a three-year losing skid against the Spartans.

Not to look ahead, but Souhegan’s next three games are against teams with a combined 4-10 mark.

If the Sabers take care of business, they could be 5-2, staring at a shot at the playoffs in the regular-season finale.

“The way it looks, that last game of the year at (3-1) Hollis Brookline could be like a playoff game,” said Leonard. “I can’t wait.”