With senior athletes seeing the final months of their high school careers affected both on and off the fields and away from the gyms, The Ruden Report is running a series, Senior Moments, to put the spotlight on some of the best of the Class of 2020.
Next up is Staples’ A.J. Konstanty, who played football and will continue next year at Cornell.
TRR: You haven’t played baseball since 6th grade but were going to try out for the team. Does this make the current situation even more disappointing?
AK: It is very disappointing. A lot of this has been very disappointing for sure. The fact that I have put so much work into baseball. I bought a mitt, a bat, batting gloves, a helmet, so much stuff. To put that much effort into a relatively new sport and have it be canceled would be absolutely devastating. Not only for me but knowing the seniors there now have been playing forever and they won’t have a senior season as well.
TRR: You had put in a lot of work too, right?
AK: I had been working on baseball again because I wanted to try it. I remember how much fun it was and I figured I would do something unique and different for my senior year. I had been hitting at batting cages with machines and I had been doing a little pitching and some fielding work. Just trying to make myself useful for the team if I make it and have tryouts.
TRR: Has this been a rough senior year with the football team having a subpar season, the basketball team not getting the chance to participate in the state tournament and now this?
AK: That’s a very good question. My senior year sports wise, it was definitely very interesting. Football record-wise was not what we wanted as a team and not what I expected, but I honestly did enjoy playing football with my teammates for the last time. All the seniors and all those guys. I’m going to miss them a lot. And while our football record didn’t reflect what we wanted, I enjoyed practice, strapping up the pads and going to work and I will always miss high school football. Basketball was one of the best seasons we had in a very long time. Making FCIACs and being a high seed in states. Having them canceled, I still think about it every day and I will never get past that. Just coming off football season we had just an incredible basketball season. To not even get a chance in states was really rough. And now the fact I may never play a Staples High School sport again is awful. Especially the prospect of not being able to go back to Staples and take classes again, or having a prom or a graduation, that would be very tough to deal with. I haven’t been able to process it yet.
TRR: You answered my next question: what other activities are you most concerned about missing?
AK: Just to add one more thing, with sports it’s been a very interesting year, but I know a lot of people, being a second semester senior is an idea of we’re ready to go to college. I wasn’t ready to leave high school yet. And I still don’t think I am. I will miss it a lot. The fact I may not be able to be in school with my friends again will be very tough to deal with because in the summer there are only so many people you see. The fact I may not be able to hang out with those kids again is very tough to process for sure.