You know that you are literally an animal when you get first team all-league in basketball as a sophomore. Ivan Bullock — called “Ivanimal” by one person — has stunned coaches, teammates, and community members with his incredible athletic achievement this month, and many months before.
“He is devoted, he puts a lot of effort into getting better,” says his father Joseph Bullock, a long-time supporter of Bullock’s athletic career. Devoted is exactly right. Bullock can often be seen in the weight room getting stronger or out on the basketball court or ball field improving his game. However, his sports devotion does not end when he goes home. In-between sets of push-ups and pull-ups, he relaxes by watching highlights of professional athletes. There is no end to sports.
All of this dedication and hard work has payed weighty dividends, enough to gain Bullock significant league honors and recognition. As a freshman, Bullock was awarded with honorable mention in football — the only freshman of the league to be awarded — and second team all-league in baseball. This year, he has upped each of those previous awards substantially, earning second team all-league in football, first team all-league in basketball, and a pending award for baseball.
This month, Bullock has not batted lower than third in the batting order and has consistently made difficult defensive plays look easy. Team manager and dedicated fan Lilly Miller recounts: “He plays really hard and on his good days he hits really hard. He fields consistently well and always has a good time on the field.”
Bullock’s hard hitting has resulted in eight doubles, two triples, and one home-run, stats with which only the best of the league can comparable. Defensively, it seems that he is always doing something that looks like it could have been taken off of MLB highlight reel, or something done by an athletically-driven ape: diving catches, great throws.
It is not only his outstanding performance that Bullock’s caught the league’s attention, but also his incredible ability to have “a good time on the field.” He is constantly screaming baseball jargon in a comedic tone or dancing in the dugout. His teammates constantly find themselves being pranked by him.
It seems that an athletic career, whether it be as a trainer or professional athlete, is not an improbable path for Bullock. Despite his young age, he has out-competed his elders on various levels and has proved a menace to all opposing teams. On top of all of that, he is equipped with a dedication to sports that outweighs all skills. This mindset is what will carry him to the next level. Just you wait LaConner.