East Penn Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Eric Cichocki excelled at three sports and was just as successful in the classroom over four years at Emmaus High School. Eric Cichocki excelled at three sports and was just as successful in the classroom over four years at Emmaus High School.

Cichocki excelled in three sports

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Eric Cichocki kept himself busy during his days in high school, and that’s exactly the way he liked things. The Lehigh-bound athlete, who played golf, basketball and baseball at Emmaus also put up astounding academic statistics.

Cichocki was a scholar-athlete for his academic success and was also named the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Sportsmanship Award of the Year winner for his behavior on the court. Clearly, Cichocki figured out early on in high school how to make academics and athletics coexist. Looking back, Cichocki believes that playing three sports helped him in the classroom.

“In my opinion, it makes it easier, because you have to be more disciplined and plan everything out, because you really can’t waste time,” said Cichocki. “I played basketball and baseball a lot and tried out for the golf team in my sophomore year, but I had been playing basketball and baseball for a while. I enjoy playing every sport, but I’d have to say that golf and baseball are my favorites and I have to say that I’m really excited to be going to college to play baseball.”

This past season was big for golf and basketball, and while the baseball team didn’t reach states, they still had a great season.

“I really enjoyed the state tournament for golf this year, and winning district championships for golf was pretty cool,” said Cichocki. “Our run into the state playoffs for basketball this year was really memorable. Unfortunately, the baseball season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it was a good experience.”

As it turns out, the baseball season ended on the very same field that Cichocki will be playing on in college, Lehigh’s Legacy Field. The field is unique in that it is all turf, including the dirt areas of the infield. As a shortstop, Cichocki had a good look at how the ball reacts on the turf field and thinks he’s going to enjoy playing college ball.

“It’s not very much different to play on, but you don’t get the bad hops,” Cichocki said. “It’s more realistic than other turf fields that I’ve played on, because the ball isn’t as fast as it is on some turf fields, so it wasn’t that much of a transition. I guess I’ll see more when I’m playing against college players, but at least against other high school players, it wasn’t that much of a transition.”

Bouncing from season-to-season, Cichocki was constantly working on conditioning and believes he benefitted from all of them even though the workouts were very different.

“Each sport is pretty different, but basketball is the one that gets me in the best shape, and I felt that the lifting program for basketball really helped me on the baseball field this year,” said Cichocki.

Looking back, Cichocki is going to miss the days of high school, and plans on still playing a good amount of golf while at Lehigh, but not on the college team. He’ll likely find some time for pick-up basketball games, especially when he has the chance to get together with friends from high school. When he walks onto the baseball field at Lehigh, he’ll be surrounded by a bunch of new faces, but will remember those days on the courses, courts and fields for Emmaus.

“I loved playing with all of my teammates in every sport and it’s going to be different, all being split up and not playing on the same team anymore,” said Cichocki. “I’m sure we’ll stay in touch and I’ll have a lot of great experiences with new people.”