Bloszinky's hard work paid off
In many ways, Catasauqua's Jake Bloszinsky is a throwback athlete.
Over his four years at Catty, Bloszinsky has battled through his share of injuries and heartaches, and he has managed to stand tall through all of them. He has been guided by the athletic staples of hard work, teamwork, and overall dedication to the cause.
Bloszinsky has made improvisations along the way, some of them not be assured of the final outcome. Apparently he'll plan to continue the same route when he'll try out for the baseball team at Bloomsburg University next spring when he begins his pursuit of an accounting degree there this fall.
It has been his old-school mentality and philosophy to the games he loves that recently helped him gained the Catasauqua Press "Male Athlete of the Year Award."
"When you receive any award, you became aware other people recognize your work ethic and how it can pay off," said Bloszinsky, who excelled in baseball, basketball, and football for the Roughies. "I know I had to keep working hard at all three sports, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing all of them.
"I just tried to do what I could to make each program better."
His coaches certainly appreciated his efforts. Bloszinksy proved to be an integral part of the basketball, baseball, and football teams as a power forward, first baseman, and quarterback respectively in all three sports. In all of them, Bloszinsky was among the team leaders in several categories.
"When I think of Jake (Bloszinsky), I think about how hard he worked in practice and on the court," said head boys' basketball coach Eric Snyder. "He (Bloszinksy) was all about hard work and he did everything we asked of him.
"He played the number four spot and he often went against kids who were taller and bigger than him. But he battled right there with him and was a very aggressive rebounder. He also improved his foul shooting throughout the year, and he was among our leading scorers."
In baseball this past spring, Bloszinsky was among the leaders in batting, homers, and RBIs.
"Jake had a nice year for us," said head baseball coach Steve Bradley. "He put the ball on the bat all season and did a nice job at first. He probably was our most consistent hitter all season. (Bloszinsky) really developed his game."
During football, Bloszinsky was among the team's leading rushers all season and had a consistent season throwing the ball. It is football that captures his passion from the other sports. This past season, he achieved one of his long-awaited goals when he helped his team to a victory over Northampton on Thanksgiving. He also endured the rigors of a shoulder injury the past two seasons.
"Football is probably my favorite sport," he said. "I have always really enjoyed playing the game since I was little. Beating Northampton on Thanksgiving was one of the highlights this past season. But then we lost the Eastern Conference playoff game.
"Still, it was a lot of fun."
In addition to his share of highs and lows in football, Bloszinsky played his career under the guidance of his father, Brad, as an assistant coach on the sidelines.
"It was great having him (his father) there with me, but I put a little bit more pressure on myself to perform better," said Bloszinsky. "He (father) had always been there for me and always had supported me through everything.
"Being with him has made me a better person. Overall, our relationship in football has really helped me."
The relationship proved to be beneficial in many ways.
"With his father as an assistant coach, Jake had a football IQ higher than any other quarterback we have had," said head football coach Tom Falzone. "We were able to give him (Bloszinsky) certain things he was able to do on his own.
"He certainly was one of our leaders, and he took it upon himself to bring other players to practice and workouts. He never missed a workout, even in the offseason. Jake was always looked up to by the younger players.
"This award is a real tribute to him, and he is certainly worthy of it."
Bloszinsky decided upon is major at the start of his senior season and is confident he can be headed in the right direction.
"I had thought about a number of different majors in college and finally decided (on accounting) at the beginning of my senior year," he said. "I really think it (accounting) will be something that I will enjoy, and everything seems like a good fit for me."
Bloszinsky certainly has appreciated the support of his coaches.
"I always had a good relationship with them," said Bloszinsky about his coaches this past year. "They all helped me became a better athlete and a better person. It will be different not having them around."
He will also miss his circle of friends on and off the court, many of whom have played with him since their early youth.
"We are a group of seniors who have been together for a long time," he said. "We are heading in different directions, but we will definitely keep in touch. We had a great run here and we have plenty of memories.
"Catty is great place and it is great playing in a small community. But we all have to move forward. "
Bloszinsky's qualities will also be moving with him.