With the cancellation of the spring season for high school sports, the Napa Valley Register will recognize senior athletes over the next few months who have had their careers come to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today we feature Napa High track and field star Kyle Jezycki, a multi-sport standout who wanted to end his final track season by either competing at the state meet or breaking a school record.
Football and track. Football was my main focus freshman and sophomore year being I didn’t do track as a freshman. Once I I joined the track, team I put my focus into that.
Years on varsity:
Varsity track for three years, varsity football for one.
By the numbers:
Finished fifth in the triple jump at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions as a junior, jumping 44-feet, 7-inches. First-team selection to the all-VVAL football team as a senior, had 1 fumble recovery, 2 blocked punts, 2 interceptions, 32 tackles and 2 defensive touchdowns for the 7-4 Grizzlies.
What was your reaction to the spring season being canceled?
I was surprised and disappointed. I worked so hard the last two years to get better. Now, my final year just gets canceled like that.
What had you hoped to accomplish in your sport this spring?
My goal, throughout my whole track career was to make it to the state meet, and possibly a to get the school record. I was so close last year to getting the school record in hurdles. In the 110-meter hurdles, I had a unofficial time 14.83 seconds. Triple jump was my main event and my focus. I finally jumped a 45-foot jump in my last meet a month ago. That would have qualified me for the Stanford meet and the Meet of Champions. Last year, that jump would have been far enough to go to state, and it wasn’t even halfway through this season.
How has the coronavirus changed your life:
My senior year was cut short. We won’t have prom, senior tea, and the other senior year send offs.
Have you picked up any new hobbies:
I love snowboarding. I will be going to University of Nevada and I plan to go to the slopes as much as I can.
Best memory from high school sports:
It must have been last year at the section meet for track. Everybody was so competitive and wanted to win. I love that competition and it makes me want to be even better.
What you miss most about sports:
I am going to miss the competitive nature of it all. That is my favorite part about sports. Everybody wants to be the best they can be, and you have to stand out and be better.
I don’t have anything major at the moment. I want to just hang out with all my friends once this Covid-19 is over.
I will be starting school at University of Nevada, Reno, studying mechanical engineering. I am so excited for all the new experiences in college.
Kyle didn’t start track until his sophomore year, but he was a quick study. He made tremendous progress last year as a junior and I was expecting great things from him in his senior year. He was the top-ranked hurdler in the Redwood Empire, and he really looked strong in our early season workouts.
He qualified for all of the most prestigious meets held in Northern California last year -- the Stanford Invitational, Sacramento Meet of Champions, North Coast Sections -- and got used to performing on the big stage. I think he was well-prepared and had the talent and the experience to do some great things this year.
Kyle was poised to have a fantastic season, with a realistic chance to qualify for the State Championships in two events. I can’t remember the last time that’s happened. There are a lot of years when Napa County won’t have a single State qualifier. Anyone who makes it to that level is in a very elite class.
He had a great attitude, worked hard, and was a pleasure to coach. He had the ability to keep things light and fun between reps, but was serious and focused and gave 100-percent when it was time to work.
People may say "it’s only sports,” but for a lot of these kids being an athlete has been a big part of their lives. It’s a shame that things ended this way for the seniors. They worked so hard and this was supposed to be their opportunity to shine. This is a time in their lives that they can never get back, memories that will never be made.
The team meeting where the suspension of the season was announced felt surreal. Coaches and athletes were stunned, you could see and feel dreams being shattered. It was emotional and there were tears. To see a season that held so much hope and promise end this way left us all with a hollow feeling inside. — Tony Giovannoni, Napa High Track and Field Hurdles Coach
Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.
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