Mark Swertfager has excelled in two sports during his athletic career at John Jay-Cross River High School. The senior has been a record-setting wrestler and an impact-player on the baseball field. So when it came time for Swertfager to decide on a sport to play at college, he considered the choice to be difficult.
But Swertfager said he knew immediately that he would trade in the singlet for the catchers equipment.
As a result, Swertfager will attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie next fall to play baseball. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always loved playing baseball, he said. After ninth grade, I sat down with my parents to discuss it and we felt that baseball would be best. They asked me what sport I liked better. I really enjoy playing baseball. They understood.
Swertfager also sought advice from his older brother, John, who attends C.W. Post and also plays baseball. My brother and I are really close and I look up to him for a lot of things, Swertfager said. He said I should definitely play baseball.
Along with Marist, Swertfager was considering attending Iona College, Siena College, and Roger Williams (R.I.) University. He explained that he went to a baseball showcase at Marist and enjoyed it, especially after speaking to the coaches. He said it was the conversation he had with the staff that impressed him.
They were very nice and they told me that they I will be fighting for the starting catching spot with a junior, said Swertfager, who plans to major in Business Administration. What I liked about the coaches was that they were up front and honest with me. Coaches will beat around the bush or say what you want to hear to get you in. At the same time, I know that I will have to work hard to earn that starting position. That is my motivation.
Although Swertfager, the most winning wrestler in John Jay history, will no longer wrestle, he will not walk away that easily. He said he wants to help out in the John Jay wrestling room when he is home.
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