What happens when you bring together the tallest and shortest athlete from all of Cyclone Athletics? Nothing boring!
Transfer basketball forward Dontia Johnson stands at 6-8 while freshman soccer midfielder Ixchel Salgado hits 4-11. She reaches the bottom of his shoulder blade, and doesn't even match his height while standing on two boxes. Although they both compete for Moraine Valley, they could not have more varied experiences.
For starters, Salgado could fit two of her shoes (size 6) in one of Johnson's size 14's. He gets his height from his dad's side, where there are some tall uncles. Everyone in her family is short, but her younger sister is at least 5-3. Aside from the challenge of finding the right fitting clothes or shoes, their respective sizes have benefits and detriments during games.
DJ: I'm taller than most people so I win a lot of jump balls. I can shoot over people, too. A lot of people my height are slow, but I'm not.
IS: Players don't really see me, like when you check your shoulders. They forget about me, so I can sneak attack for the ball.
DJ: Not every team has someone my height, and some teams might be small so a big guy has to guard a little guy.
IS: I can't win head balls, and it's easier for me to get elbowed in the face.
For Johnson, his height works in basketball but can be a pain off the court. Meanwhile, Salgado takes the advantages when she can on the field.
DJ: For basketball, it's cool to be this tall, but outside it gets on my nerves. I'm always in attention. People are always looking at me or asking if I play basketball. I stick out from my friends.
IS: For soccer, I don't have to be in the box during a corner. I can block the front or back post. It also doesn't hurt as much when I fall in soccer.
And then there is the everyday stuff.
DJ: Depending on the size of the bed, my feet hang off the edge.
IS: They think I'm younger. I take it as a compliment. In crowded places you can go in and out quicker. But everyone also says, "Wow, you're short." I also have to climb cabinets to get stuff.