A look into my days in High School and how it led to me to where I am now.
High School feels like it was just yesterday, but this July will be ten years. Wow, it’s crazy to think ten years ago I was going to homeroom and sitting in the cafeteria with my friends. I went to Holy Trinity Diocesan High School on Long Island. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about attending a new school, with new kids, forty minutes away from my house, and where I had to wear a tie and blazer every day. My dad told me to trust him that everything would work out as it should, so I did.
Freshman year was tough, and my trust in my dad was tested. I could go on and on about waking up at 5:45 every morning, or how I had maybe two friends for most of the school year, or how I couldn’t have been more awkward speaking to a girl, but I’ll save the complaining. The school itself was nice, but I didn’t feel like I was fitting in. I was getting ready to ask my parents to switch schools when the baseball tryout schedule was posted. By the end of tryouts not only had I made the team, but I had a group of guys that I considered my friends, and my desire to switch schools disappeared.
Sophomore year was a completely different year for me. After a successful freshman season with our team having the best record in the league along with my new friendships, I was gaining confidence. At the beginning of the fall semester the Head Varsity Coach asked me and a few other sophomores to attend the varsity workouts being held after school. The Head Coach was Bob Malandro, but to everyone in the baseball world, he was known as Hondo. Hondo pulled me and my best friend aside and told us that by the time we graduate we will have won two championships. A bold statement to make to two sophomores if you ask me, but we were in awe of the belief and challenge that he bestowed on us. I was so happy to have been invited to the varsity workouts, but I was more excited because the other players he asked to join were my closest friends.
After going through the workouts in the fall, and developing relationships with the upper classman and coaches, I was made a starting pitcher for the Varsity team. The team we had was scary with college talent all over the field, with college and professional scouts coming to watch us play almost every game. The upperclassman taught us, the younger guys, how to carry ourselves and what it meant to be part of a team. My small group of friends and I didn’t want to give any of these upperclassmen a reason to get on us for anything, so we showed up every day to the field ready to work, and understood that hard work was respected, not seniority. The comradery we had for one another was unmatched. Throughout the season my confidence grew, not only from my performance but from my teammates as well. Whether it was hanging out in the parking lot after school, late night player practices, or getting food at the local school deli, it felt like the team was always together. At the end of the season, we were the Catholic League Champions and Hondo’s prediction was off to a good start.
Junior year was a learning year for me. I started the year off feeling overly confident coming off a Catholic League Championship and having committed to the University of Maryland at the end of my sophomore year.