At first glance, most people who don’t know Pat Adamczyk probably think he’s a basketball player.
“(I was asked) a little bit my freshman year,” the Hebron senior said. “I quickly shot it down.”
Save for a brief time back in fifth grade, wrestling has always been the main sport for Adamczyk, who joined the Hebron club, coached by his dad Todd, in first grade, and has been on the mats with him ever since.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Pat said. “My brother (Matt, a junior), we’ve done a bunch of traveling, saw parts of the country we hadn’t seen before. It’s pretty cool that it led to this.”
Pat will sign a national letter of intent Friday to wrestle for Ancilla College in Donaldson. He will receive a combination athletic-academic scholarship.
“I’m excited for him to have the opportunity,” Todd said. “It’s neat to see him take the next step. This is all him. It has nothing to do with me. I don’t take any of the credit. It’s all his work on the mat, all his work in school. I just sit back and enjoy watching him. (Wrestling) is the culture in our home, but outside of that, it’s his work ethic, his drive. I definitely led the horse to the water, but he did all the drinking.”
Pat, a 182-pounder, also had offers from Kentucky Wesleyan, Jamestown (North Dakota) University and Lincoln (Illinois) College.
“You see parents try to push kids toward a certain school, ultimately, it’s his decision,” Todd said. “He’s the one going to school, he has to choose the one he’s most comfortable with, where he feels it’s the best fit. We laid out how we thought it would be. I listed my top three, he listed his top three. They were the same, just not in the same order. He made a great choice.”
Proximity to home played a factor in the decision, as did Ancilla’s junior college status, as Pat can reassess where he’s at in two years, academically and athletically, and determine what he wants to do from there.
“Two years from now, if I want, I can transfer over (to a four-year school), but I haven’t thought that far ahead yet,” he said. “They have good options for what I’m interested in, health, science. I got feedback from some schools. It was a really tough decision, but every time I weighed my options, it just made more sense to me.”
For Pat, the prospects of possibly wrestling in college first came to mind his sophomore year, then last year, he started looking into it seriously.
“Like I told Pat, the next level, it becomes a job,” Todd said. “You work for your scholarship money, but he knows how to work this job. It’s a lot better than digging ditches or flipping burgers to pay for school.”
As for that fifth grade dalliance with hoops, both can look back on it now and laugh.
“I went straight back to wrestling,” Pat said, admitting he wasn’t good and he didn’t like it. “I just wanted to take a little break, try something new.”
Even then, he would still come up to wrestling club practice.
“There isn’t anything offered in the school (athletically) until fifth grade and he wanted to do something for the school,” Todd said. “He thought I would take it personally. It didn’t bother me one bit. It’s not about me. Coming up, wrestling was something he did non-stop from the moment he started. He did T-Ball, Taekwondo. He dabbled in all that stuff. He’s not one of those kids who’s a one-sport athlete.”
Pat, who also does track and cross country and plays the trumpet in band, will formally sign at 7 p.m. on Friday with his parents, Todd and Amber, his brother, sister (Jillian) and a few teammates. They plan to post it on Facebook and Instagram Live.
Given the cloudy nature of the season, Pat is relieved to have his college plans squared away.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” he said. “I’m not looking ahead to see anything else.”
Hebron has already had two tournaments cancelled as it looks to possibly fill in gaps with dual matches.
“We’re just holding our breath,” Todd said “We had four kids home for a week, but it was just tracing. We haven’t had any positives. We’re hoping the light stays green.”
Pat will be third Hebron product to wrestle in college, following Gio Phan and Ryan Perez.
“It’s great for our program to be able to show we have kids from our school going to college for wrestling,” Todd said.