Originally Published: Apr 5, 2010 11:31 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma – Archie Bradley likes pressure, thrives under pressure and he even enjoys pressure.
It’s no wonder the Broken Arrow junior is excelling in two of the most pressure-packed positions in sports: a pitcher in baseball and football’s quarterback.
“When I have that ball in my hand on fourth and eight and we have to go score right here or we need a big strike out, I feel like I want to be the person to do that,” Bradley said. “I want to be the person who lives or dies off of when we win or lose.”
After spending his childhood and first two years of high school in Muskogee, Bradley transferred to Broken Arrow this school year when his mother was named an assistant principal at Broken Arrow High School.
Bradley quarterbacked the Tigers football team to the state semifinals last season, falling to eventual 6A champion Tulsa Union. He has been dominant on the mound, including a 13 strikeout performance against Edmond Santa Fe, who was ranked second in the state when the Tigers defeated the Wolves 2-1 on March 26.
In an era where the multi-sport athlete is becoming somewhat rare at the high school level, Bradley wants to play both baseball and football in college. He is receiving interest from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Alabama and Arkansas among others.
Then there’s Major League Baseball. Bradley has been pegged as a potential first-round pick in next year’s MLB Draft.
Bradley has had a baseball glove as long as he can remember, but only started playing football in seventh grade. Even though there might be millions of dollars to be made down the line in baseball, Bradley has his sights set on playing both sports at the collegiate level right now.
“If it really came down to it, I don’t know what I would choose,” Bradley said. “It would be a hard decision, I’d have to think about it and that’s why I’m going to try to continue to play both.”
The other game in Bradley’s life has been learning to balance his time between school, baseball and football commitments.
“The problem I run into is when I should be getting better at quarterback, I’m over here pitching,” Bradley said. “When I should be pitching, I’m playing football.
“I mean, while most kids are hanging out with friends, I’m going to the gym to hit the weights, or coming up to the field to throw early with receivers. There’s really no offseason.”
And that’s the way he likes it. A typical day for Bradley usually entails getting up before dawn and going to school to watch film from the previous day’s football practice, or if it’s baseball season he spends some time in the batting cage. After school, he practices and if it’s football season, he usually stays after to watch film and throw footballs. During baseball, Bradley usually hits the gym after practice and doesn’t get home until 8:30 or 9:30 in the evening.
“It’s a sacrifice you make as an athlete. If you want to be the best at something, you have to work every day,” Bradley said. “I’ve made that commitment, so whatever it takes to get the job done, I want to do it and bring football its first state championship and hopefully get one here this year.”
No pressure, right?