Matt Vautour: Joe Popielarczyk Was As Good As Anyone In 2012 - UMass Athletics

Matt Vautour: Joe Popielarczyk Was As Good As Anyone In 2012

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Among the "year in review" pieces out there recapping the events of 2012, Matt Vautour had this one about UMass pitcher Joe Popielarczyk's stellar 2012 season with the Minutemen baseball team:

For most freshman, not making it through walk-on tryouts is the end of their college careers.

They gave it a shot at being a college athlete. After being deemed not quite good enough, they hang 'em up, content to move on. Some will try to join a club team. Some will play intramurals. Most will just become regular college students, going to class during the week, parties on weekends, gaining weight and knowledge, while moving toward a degree and a job, and further away from their athletic careers.

It would have been hard to blame Joe Popielarczyk for following that route. The former Northampton High School baseball star was carrying a challenging major (civil engineering), while commuting to the University of Massachusetts every day from his home in Florence. Most people would have been tempted to just throw themselves into their studies and forget baseball.

But Popielarczyk wasn't ready to do that, and just making the baseball team as a sophomore after his second shot at walk-on tryouts made Popielarczyk a good story.

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