Each and every time Clay Higher College senior Maxx Szucs slides driving the wheel of his Acura TL and heads from or to house right before or just after an additional satisfy or match or observe, sports generally rides shotgun.
Pop the trunk and you are going to place a pair extensive boards stashed about there, a cruiser board around in one corner. There’s a basketball in there in case Szucs (pronounced Zeus) feels the have to have to scratch his hoops itch. Up front in the passenger seat, Szucs probable has thrown a few pairs of soccer cleats, it’s possible his wrestling higher-tops and singlet as nicely. A soccer ball usually bounces about versus the ground board.
There is a bag of tennis balls rattling all around somewhere, a handful of baseball hats, his glove, some cleats for that sport as well. Want to hop in his backseat? You will have to squeeze in along with his baseball bag and golfing clubs. Peer into the window and you ponder if Szucs is an all-time athlete or a traveling sporting items salesman.
“My car’s a mess,” Szucs admitted very last week.
As is his letter jacket, which is about out of area for any supplemental Chevrons (gold inverted V-shaped bars awarded to Clay athletes who play a varsity activity) or letters or figures or anything else. Five Chevrons comprise the appropriate sleeve. 7 dance down the left. He set 4 on the front, beneath both of those pockets. The jacket again has 3 significant white stars, his last name in script and six point out patches. Just about every time he been given a new honor, a further journey was on tap to The Dugout, an embroidery shop on Lincolnway West, to stitch it on. Staff members see Szucs coming and they know what’s upcoming. Additional operate for them.
“They’re like, ‘It’s likely to get a very little heavier now,’” Szucs explained.
In an period where by specializing in one activity has grow to be the norm, Szucs is a toss-again to a diverse athletic time. He’s the higher university athlete who begins competing the minute he walks in the doorway as a freshman and under no circumstances stops. By no means settles. He performed in the tumble. He competed in winter. He’s enjoying one particular final spring. He’ll soon graduate, then have to determine out what to do with all that no cost time.
At 5-foot-9 and 129 kilos, Szucs isn’t the major or the strongest or the speediest or the most athletic kid at Clay. He could be the most outgoing, the most aggressive, the most centered to just go and perform. Something. Anything. Every thing.
Szucs is operating on earning his 20th varsity letter and his 22nd Chevron as a member of the varsity baseball workforce.
“It blows your mind,” stated Clay baseball mentor Joel Reinebold. “Most fellas are fortunate to receive two or a few (varsity letters). He’s all more than the area.”
That initial day
Szucs remembers walking into the Clay cafeteria his initial day of freshman 12 months. He appeared all over at all the distinct faces and then read all the distinct discussions heading on, and he understood no one.
“OK, I knew 1 kid and his title was Rob Hunt,” Szucs stated. “I experienced played Minimal League with him, but hadn’t witnessed him in 6 a long time.”
Szucs was intimidated knowing following to no person that very first yr. It was terrifying, positive, but also intriguing. How would he make close friends? How would people today get to know him? What could he do to make confident that if he stepped into the lunch room as a senior, he’d know more than just 1 child. He’d finally learn each and every senior’s title. Approximately 200 of them. And extra people would know him.
“It was a fresh start off,” Szucs said. “I type of appreciated that.”
So Szucs started out playing sporting activities, and hasn’t at any time stopped. It was a supplied that he was heading to go out for soccer, even nevertheless he’d in no way just before performed the sport. His stage-brother was on the team then, and the squad was limited on figures, so soccer it was.
“He realized quickly and was a intelligent player,” explained mentor Ian Lewis. “The coolest matter about Maxx was his potential to juggle all that. That goes a long way, to be there each day and to clearly show that exertion.”
Winter season was easy. Szucs to start with commenced wrestling when he was all of 4. He liked the activity. Liked that it was all up to him to decide if he’d prosper or fall short. He’s fast to provide his wrestling document this year — 21-4. Still remembers just about every of the 4 losses. Desires these back more than the wins. Spring? Yep, a further simple just one. He prolonged cherished baseball. So that was the plan — soccer in the tumble, wrestle in the winter season, baseball in the spring. But…
“I like to try out new factors,” Szucs claimed. “I just type of kept going.”
Like out to the tennis courtroom. A person slide day that freshman year, Szucs figured out that the workforce had only a few gamers. So he grabbed his racquet. Four decades and 4 varsity letters later, he was the team’s No. 1 singles participant and most useful participant. Not very long following Szucs’ sophomore wrestling year started out, Clay athletic director Al Hartman, also his step-father, pointed out that the swim staff didn’t have a diver. Would Szucs give it a try out? Didn’t issue that he hardly ever dived, or that he’d have to commute to Washington Substantial School every single evening following wrestling observe for the reason that Clay’s pool didn’t have diving boards.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, why not?’” Szucs mentioned. “So then that happened.”
Szucs acquired a few varsity letters in swimming. He earned four in soccer. These four in tennis. Four additional in wrestling. On it went. Far more sporting activities. More letters. If there was a sport to try, Szucs was heading to consider it. The soccer group wanted a kicker, so guess who answered the call? If he could squeeze in some further details among soccer and tennis seasons, Szucs did it.
It was not straightforward, but Szucs manufactured it look it. A entire great deal of cooperation with the varsity coaches also built it occur.
“Things get challenging, but sometimes when it gets tricky, you have to thrust on your own to stage outdoors of your ease and comfort zone,” Lewis stated. “Maxx always was eager to do that. I experience lucky to have played a aspect in his working experience.”
Szucs liked football so significantly that soon after the soccer and tennis seasons ended past slide, he attended a handful of methods as additional than just the kicker who shows up at the conclusion to function on distinctive teams. By season’s stop, he was the setting up totally free security. A further letter acquired.
“I definitely like assisting all the groups and seeing the influence that I can have,” Szucs reported. “Once I started off discovering all the things, I recognized how everything is feasible if you just consider.”
So much to do, so small time
How does Szucs come across time to practice and play and analyze? He carries a 3.81 grade-stage normal and is a member of the Nationwide Honor Society. Oh, and he’s also in swing choir and senior class president.
Merge the teachers and the athletics and any other further-curricular perform (receiving a Senior Prom was a significant effort) and Szucs typically jams 26 hours into each 24.
“I’d like to have his time administration skills,” Reinebold said. “It’s unbelievable what he accomplishes in a day.”
Szucs credits his mother, Jene Hartman, for earning confident he stays on track. In athletics. In university. In everyday living.
“She’s pretty effectively-arranged and taught me how to be organized,” he said. “She’s the foundation of most all the things I do. I get a large amount of what I do from her, maintaining my head on straight and my power up and striving to continue to keep all the things going.”
The only time he takes a split to get a breath may be the two weeks between his wintertime and spring seasons. Wrestling usually takes a large amount out of him, even more so this season when he caught coronavirus that price tag him the Northern Indiana Conference fulfill, and he’s completely ready for the break. But only for a moment. Szucs rarely sits still. When he does, it is never ever for long.
There have been days when his physique aches for a split, but by no means enough to where by Szucs could miss a match or a activity or a meet up with. No way.
“I cease and I’m like, ‘I can just breathe and unwind and question, ‘Why do I do all this?’” Szucs stated. “Then I get heading again and I’m like, ‘This is why I do all this.’ This is so enjoyable. I’m fast paced all the time. I’m under no circumstances bored.
“I really don’t like being bored.”
Bored is closing swiftly. He can see it out the front of his auto windshield. He understands the time he has left at Clay before long will conclude. He’s imagined about that as just about every of his sports activities has closed down — the previous time he’ll attempt a corner kick, the past time he does a double off the board, the final time he pins a man.
Shortly, it will be the last time he steps into the batter’s box at Clay Field and the last time he places on the purple and gold and signifies Clay Large School.
“He was a group male,” said wrestling coach Adam O’Neil. “He often knew what he was accomplishing.”
As for what to do subsequent, Szucs toyed with the concept of attending his dream school in UCLA. In its place, he’ll head to Ball Condition arrive fall, where by he’ll significant in telecommunications. His athletic lifestyle possible will consist only of intramural level of competition, or capturing hoops in the driveway of his Knollwood home. Like four yrs ago in the Clay cafeteria, Szucs will phase on the Ball State campus and not truly know any individual outside the house his brother, Noah, who will be a junior and his roommate.
Just as he did at Clay, Szucs will determine out how to obtain his way.
“You just gotta maintain pushing,” reported Szucs, who turns 18 this thirty day period. “I hope I can retain pushing myself the relaxation of my lifetime and see wherever it can choose me.
“I’m terrified, but enthusiastic.”