Szewczyk: Supreme Soccer Player and Student
December 7, 2016
He is on his first semester of his senior year. He is on his seventh year of community service projects. He is on his tenth AP class. He is on his eleventh year of soccer. He is a face of his school on an academic, athletic, and personal level. Daniel Szewczyk is a 17-year-old who has taken his community by storm from the day he entered Round Lake High School.
Daniel Szewczyk, a senior, is a student-athlete and he is someone that doesn’t fit the stereotypical position this takes. He branches out beyond school and soccer to take a greater part in his community by taking leadership positions and he manages to excel as a student as well. He sets an example of what students and teenagers should strive to be, whether he’s out on the soccer field, spending time with his family, volunteering in the community or working in the classroom
Szewczyk has been playing soccer, always as a goalie, since he was six years old; starting at an outside club team, The Chicago Kickers. “Soccer is my way to escape from my problems and my stress,” Szewczyk said. “I could spend hours alone with a soccer ball and feel at peace. Soccer puts me on the field with my second family, who motivates me to be the best version of myself.”
In addition to the Chicago Kickers, Szewczyk played all throughout his high school years for RLHS, making his way from the freshman team up to varsity his final year. Szewczyk has been captain for his club team for three years and also became captain for his final year on the high school team. Soccer coach Josue Jimenez, said, ”When it comes to on the field, Szewczyk is a natural leader. He wants to help out others, and he protects our team.” Jimenez believes that Szewczyk is an asset to his team and that he is always pushing to bring new things to the field.
Aside from the strides Szewczyk has made as an athlete, he is a student that pushes himself and his peers through student activities and leadership groups. “I find that getting involved in all aspects of the school makes me a better student and helps me reach out to many different lifestyles,” Szewczyk said. He is involved in Panther Crew, National Honors Society, and College Ambassadors, just to name a few. These programs influence all parts of the student body, whether it’s tutoring, informing, or community service projects. “Not only is he involved when it comes to soccer, but he is involved in everything when it comes to extracurricular,” Jimenez stated. “He is a person that takes pride in Round Lake High School, and he takes pride in what he does.” Szewczyk does these activities in hopes of a greater future for himself and his community. “I’m not only doing all the activities I do because it’ll help me in the future, but because it’s helping my community right now,” Szewczyk said. “After I no longer am here I hope to say that I have left an impact.”
In the middle of his commitments to his teams and his multiple activities, Szewczyk finds the time to make sure he is excelling as a student. Szewczyk maintains above a 4.0 GPA within 5 AP classes a semester. Szewczyk has remained at the top of his class throughout his whole high school career and continues to break new boundaries. “I have seen him push himself and his other team members when it comes to school because he knows that’s his backbone,” Jimenez stated.
Szewczyk has led freshmen throughout their transition into high school, he has planted trees for his surrounding communities, he has led juniors and seniors through college processes to prepare them for what they have yet to face, he has taken a position at the top of his class, and he has led his team mates, as a captain, through practices, games, and tournaments. “These activities help me to expand my horizons and get involved with my student body. It makes me feel like I belong, and makes me feel better as an individual,” Szewczyk said.
He has left an imprint on all individuals he has come across, and he has raised the bar for what a student-athlete can be. Szewczyk changed the atmosphere for his school and his team and he looks forward to continuing a legacy after he leaves the high school.