Thursday, May 1, 2014

Uno En Uno With: Ricky Corrado, baseball

The three-sport athlete is not necessarily a dying breed in Westchester County, albeit the number of three-sporters has certainly diminished over the years.

With programs such as AAU, with rigorous out-of-school travel team schedules, with the safety precaution of keeping the body fresh and the comfort of eliminating the threat of injury, the 3-sport athlete is not as widespread as it once was.

Some multi-sport athletes may hang up the cleats and sneakers, opting to focus solely on one sport around the clock.

Benefits such as increased exposure come with whittling it down to one favored sport.

Yet the opportunity to be an around-the-clock athlete only comes around once, through the course of one's high school career. Yorktown senior Ricky Corrado has seized this advantage, carving a niche for himself in football, basketball, and baseball at Yorktown High.

Corrado never felt the need to shut it down or surrender his athletic wares to one sport. The 6-foot-1 behemoth, built like a brick junk-house, adapted to playing all three in middle school.

The competitive edge never tailed off. He valued all three with the same brand of intensity and integrity.

The rigors of the varsity experience can sway most to whittle it down to one, but these options never echoed with the workmanlike Corrado.

There have been no breathers, no sustained layoffs or vacations.

The grind is inevitable.

 Every semester, Corrado has balanced school work with a sports schedule. What begins with grueling football double sessions in scalding August becomes a livelihood.

In football, Corrado is a pass-inhaling tight-end who utilizes his brute 225-pound frame on both sides of the field. In basketball, Corrado mans the frontline as a forward and an undersized center.

 Despite the on-paper mismatches created with taller players inside the paint, Corrado is able to protect the rim and operate in the post and let fly a feathery shallow water jumper that draws centers outside of the lane.

Now, as the sobering reality that "this is it" for his high school career sets in, Corrado feels a sense of nostalgia enveloping his final season at YHS.

Corrado will approach the final phases of the season with the consistent dose of poise and pride that comes with the territory of being a playoff-tested veteran and senior. He's been able to incorporate the leadership and experience factor into his workaday role on the diamond.

The Huskers' first baseman, who has expressed a desire to walk on SUNY Cortland's baseball team next season, was super efficient during a recent stretch, going 17-for-19 at the dish. The senior is hitting a sublime .673 through a 10-game span, getting a good barrel on it.

 Corrado said he will savor every moment of this mad dash to the finish, though he never envisioned these powerful last days would come so quickly.

Though he'll have plenty opportunities to prolong his athletic career, Corrado said playing before a raucous and creative CROP fan base at Yorktown has helped him value the opportunity.

On The 3-Sport Lifestyle

The way I look at it, it's just a grind. I've been playing baseball since I was eight, basketball since I was 12, and football I started in eighth grade.

There's no way I could have dropped one of them. I wanted to do something that a lot of people don't really do. I like being different than a bunch of other people. To continue it, and play at the level that I play, I'm just truly blessed.

On His Future

I can't imagine my life without any sports. The relationships that I've made are great, there are different groups and different people through all three sports. I've met some of the greatest influences on me through these programs. It's truly been a blessing to be able to go through this.

It's just awesome. Mainly at Cortland, I want to focus on academics and having fun. I want to continue to focus on playing sports, whether it be club--which is very competitive there--or team. I hope to continue playing. Most importantly, I just want to have fun doing it. I hold sports dearly to me and this has been a great experience.

On The Huskers 5-1 win against Lakeland, which included a stellar 12-strikeout perfromance from Anthony Robinson

A-Rob threw a great game, he was a stud. It was great to just pull off a win. We basically had to stick it to them early, and not let up. We wanted to get into them early and often and not take any plays off.

 The game means a lot to our coach, he always tells us the game means more to our program than it does our season. It means a lot to the program and all the alumni that came to watch. Just to be a part of it, it's pretty cool.