Player: Mike Fionda
School: St. John's Prep
Spring sport: Track (throws)
What was the toughest part about the social distancing and missing the spring season for you? Were there things you were able to do as a track team to stay positive and/or keep morale up?
The toughest thing about social distancing is not being able to see my friends and classmates. I’m bummed I missed the spring season of track because in the transition from winter season to spring I was hitting the weight room and trying to do anything possible to get a PR of 50 feet. One thing that did bring smiles to many faces was Coach Lankow’s Senior showcase on Twitter. He posted about every senior and their PRs and where they’re going to college in the Fall! It definitely boosted my spirit!
What was your favorite event from spring track, discus or shot?
My all time favorite event was the shot put!! Not hating on discus (it was still fun) but throwing the shot was my thing. I tried the discus and truly did enjoy it. But nothing could beat the feeling of throwing that shot put as hard as i could and getting a PR.
Any preference between the spin and the glide? Ever try spin for shot, which is rare in high school?
I prefer to do the glide because it is easier for a person my size to generate power behind a throw. Now some people like my friend Theo (Hutt) on the track team throws doing the spin and that works for him. It all depends on what you’re more comfortable with. When the young guys come to the throws squad Coach Gibbs gives them the option to learn the spin or glide. Most guys end up doing the spin, but don’t have success and try the glide and it’s like an overnight transformation. Have I tried to spin, yes, many times but ended up not having much success so I turned to the glide and haven’t looked back.
What was the best or most memorable game or moment from your high school career in any sport?
The most memorable game in my high school career was this past Super Bowl. I got to play two positions which was pretty awesome, defensive end and D tackle in our gold package. The best part about that game though was watching that clock tick down to 0 during the fourth quarter and looking at the score board seeing we were going to be champions in seconds.
Any good solo workouts or drills to stay in shape for either track or football during the distancing?
Workouts I do for both track and football are hills: Easy to do just find a hill and run up it then back down. They were recommend to me by my trainer Doug and have had an instant impact on my speed and stamina. Another workout I enjoy doing is core. Sit ups and planks are two great ones to do and if you have a medicine ball do Russian twists and transfers. This helps strengthen the core which benefits me in both sports.
What was your favorite class and/or teacher at SJP?
This is a tough question because I have enjoyed all my classes at St. John’s Prep. If I were to pick one class in particular it would have to be my junior year English class with Mr. Roy. He made every lesson Interesting and fun by incorporating films or clips about the books we were reading to help us understand the material more. He’s also a comical guy and you would never leave class without having a laugh. He and many other teachers my junior year definitely made it one of the best years of my life.
What's the best advice you've got during this time or some advice you'd share for the underclassmen coming back?
One piece of advice I would like to give is don’t take anything for granted. Do whatever you want at the Prep and make sure you do it to your fullest ability. Have fun and make memories with your friends and teachers because it really does fly by. And once your ready to graduate your senior year take a look back at all you’ve accomplished and be proud of what you’ve done.
What's the best TV show for streaming or binging through to pass the time stuck indoors?
There are a couple shows that I’ve been watching over quarantine which are really good: All American, Rick and Morty, The Office and Outer Banks.
What are you most looking forward to about getting to St. Lawrence and being able to get back on the field?
The one thing I’m looking forward to most about St. Lawrence is getting back on the football field and beginning this new journey. I’m also pumped up to meet my new teammates and professors! There also is one other thing I’m looking forward to and it’s the food because last time I was up there it was delicious.
-- As told to Matt Williams