Carroll County Times
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College Sports: Sam Rothstein, Century High School grad, balancing three sports with success at Muhlenberg

Sam Rothstein enjoyed his sophomore year at Muhlenberg College, one that saw him balance a major and two minors while playing football in the fall and wrestling in the winter.

But Rothstein decided he wasn’t quite busy enough, and added a third sport like he used to do at Century High School. He joined the track and field team this spring to help fill a void for the Mules, and wound up competing at the Centennial Conference championships.


After helping the football team reach the quarterfinals of the Division III NCAA tournament, and being part of a wrestling squad that posted its best conference tournament showing in a decade, Rothstein picked up a shot put for the first time since high school. He also got talked into the hammer throw, a new weight for him, and competed at the Centennial meet in two events.

As Muhlenberg’s lone male shot putter, Rothstein took seventh at conferences, surpassing 39 feet, and eighth in the hammer — he had thrown the hammer only once in his life before conference meet.


“I’m looking forward to next year, being able to practice it a little more and know what I’m doing,” said Rothstein, who graduated from Century in 2017 and earned all-county honors in football and wrestling during his high school career.

He started throwing shot and discus on an Eldersburg Rogue Runners youth track team before doing both events in high school. Rothstein took fourth at the county meet as a senior for the Knights.

He gave up track when he arrived at Muhlenberg and instead focused on football and wrestling — Rothstein, at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, started every game as a guard for the Mules in 2018 and helped the earn a piece of the Centennial Conference title.

Muhlenberg went 11-2 and celebrated a home playoff victory when it defeated Randolph-Macon 35-6 on Nov. 24 at Scotty Wood Stadium. The Mules fell to Mount Union, the eventual national runner-up, in the next round.

“Making the playoffs was probably the best part,” Rothstein said about the fall. “Our stands were just about at capacity, which we don’t actually get all that often. That was really fun.”

Rothstein was joined on the squad by former Liberty High standouts and brothers Spencer Kirin, a sophomore, and Max Kirin, a junior. Spencer Kirin played linebacker and totaled 71 tackles, while Max Kirin played receiver and led the Mules with 58 catches for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“All three of us started,” Rothstein said. “It was really nice to be able to have three Carroll County boys all play and go on to make some history.”

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Rothstein spent his winter as the backup heavyweight on Muhlenberg’s wrestling team. He won seven bouts, and the Mules posted 18 wins and placed fourth at the Centennial championships.


All of that while majoring in English and minoring in creative writing and anthropology. But Rothstein said, even on some winter days that felt longer than others, he balanced his course load and sports the best he could.

“I had already made the commitment,” Rothstein said, “so you just have to deal with it and have fun.”

During track season, Rothstein said he worked out a schedule that allowed him to attend spring practice with the football team while still working on his throws two days a week in the afternoon.

Rothstein said a spring break trip to South Korea helped him rest and recharge between seasons, and he recently returned from an organized football venture to Italy — about 60 Muhlenberg players made the trip, Rothstein said, and they took part in an international exhibition in Florence.

The 2019 football season begins in mid August with practice, and Rothstein said he’s looking forward to another busy year — and more success.

“And by the time football is ending, I’m already ready for wrestling to start,” he said. “One sport gets me in shape for the next sport, which gets me in shape for the next sport. It’s a nice little cycle. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how all three sports keep going.”