By Molly Tow
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/7/11
The expression “bit off more than he could chew” does not apply to 2011 Bishop Shanahan graduate Adam Kaminski.
There are always those few athletes in every grade who can pick up a new sport and immediately excel. For those types, playing three varsity seasons is only natural.
Adam Kaminski took this a step further.
The recent Bishop Shanahan graduate leaves high school with four varsity letters in soccer and wrestling, and three varsity letters in lacrosse and football.
And don’t jump to conclusions just yet: This kid is not just a straight jock.
Kaminski maintained a 4.0 grade-point average throughout high school while only enrolled in honors and AP classes. For his athletic and academic success, he was honored as a Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner, and given the Philadelphia Union League Good Citizenship Award and a Shanahan Spirit Award.
Kaminski will attend Dickinson College and kick for the football team. He reports to camp on Friday and plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in pre-med or pre-dental.
Kaminski has always been a sports junkie. Even from an early age, competing in one sport was never enough.
“When I was younger, I played a bunch of sports,” said Kaminski. “I was always pretty good at all of them, but never wanted to single in on one sport, even though a couple of the teams I played for wanted me to play only one. But I told them: ‘No, I’d rather play them all’.”
Kaminski’s four sports were aptly chosen, as each season kept him in shape for the others. As long as he was working out with one team, all coaches could be assured that Kaminski would enter their season fit and ready to play.
“When I started playing lacrosse, I realized it was a much better way to stay in shape, and that I could cross-train for soccer and wrestling,” said Kaminski. “You need a lot of energy for those sports.”
Lacrosse was a late pickup, relatively speaking, for Kaminski. His spring sport was originally baseball, but after clinching a league title on one of his youth teams, he decided that he wanted a new challenge.
Kaminski doesn’t consider lacrosse his best sport, but he thoroughly enjoyed the change of scenery from wrestling when transitioning to the spring season.
“Lacrosse was probably one of my favorite sports of all four,” said Kaminski, chuckling. “It was still very physically rough, but great after wrestling, which is an all-indoor sport, and definitely the most tough and grueling of the four.”
This year Kaminski helped the Eagles’ lacrosse team finish 14-5 and advance to the second round of the District 1 tournament. He was named Honorable mention All-Ches-Mont as a midfielder.
The highlight of his career also came on the lacrosse field. “I scored the game winning goal beating Downingtown East,” said Kaminski. “This was ironic, because I live about two blocks from Downingtown East, so I pretty much knew nine or ten kids on the other team. It was pretty funny to beat them in that fashion.”
Kaminski wished to personally thank his lacrosse coaches over his high school career, Bob Peppelman (sophomore year) and current coaches Jon Heisman and Bob Groves.
As athletes rise to higher levels of competition, the risk of injury increases naturally increases as well. It almost seems like Kaminski’s high school feats were fated, as he was nearly able to avoid injury all together during his four years at Shanahan.
“I tore my meniscus junior year, and I had to get surgery on it,” said Kaminski of his only serious injury. “It was the very beginning of wrestling season, I missed most of that.
“Then I was able to come back for the rest of wrestling season, and now it’s perfectly fine. That was really the only injury I had throughout high school.
“Whenever we would talk about possibly breaking the record for most letters at my house, I would always say, ‘If I keep playing all of these sports, I will probably break it’, and my mom and dad would always be the first to say ‘barring injury’. So I was pretty lucky.”
Many who know Kaminski or his story are probably still wondering: How?
Kaminski will take many skills with him to college, some learned and some innate, but the most valuable of these is time management. He recognized early on that if he wanted to participate successfully in this outstanding number of activities, the use of time was key.
It would be an understatement to say that Kaminski has a handful of achievements to choose from when picking his most memorable high school moment. Among his many accolades, he was named to 10 All-Ches-Mont League teams. He also was elected Vice President of the National Honor Society and awarded the John Dickinson Scholarship, which provides $20,000 in scholarship money each year.
“You have to put the same amount of effort into every single thing, and you really need to learn how to manage your time,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing I learned through all of the sports.
“If you only have about four hours to do homework every night, you have to buckle down and get that done, especially if you have a few tests the next morning or a project due. You really didn’t have excuses to make, because in school and in sports, excuses really get you nowhere.”
Tags: Bishop Shanahan