Sam Abdelwahab – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Sam Abdelwahab

Our September, First County Bank Athlete of the Month is 10 year old Sammy Abdelwahab. Abdelwahab who is our youngest athlete to be recognized for this honor to date is easily one of the most deserving we have had. The young standout puts in the time and effort in like very few. Abdelwahab is either at the academy with Abate Training, with his team through NC Select, or on his own at home constantly working to be a better baseball player. What should not go understated though is the swag he walks through life with. Abdelwahab is easily noticed with matching attire for his favorite team, repping New Canaan, or any combination of loud colors which is reminiscent of a young Zack Ramppen (August FCB Athlete of the Month) at the old academy. Abdelwahab’s swag, confidence, and awareness to name a few, are qualities that help separate him from other players his age.  

Abdelwahab is predominantly an infielder (shortstop specifically) who is also a solid option on the mound as well for his teams. He can get the job done no matter where you put him or how intense the game situation might be. This is only helped by the fact that Abdelwahab has been playing baseball since he could stand up. The game is in his blood! New Canaan Travel has been the beneficiary to this point of Abdelwahab’s abilities on the field, as a teammate, and as an example to other players around him. However, those skills are only improving as he moves into his third year of working with Abate Training. The results are becoming more and more noticeable. Recently Abdelwahab played in a Perfect Game tournament in New Jersey and lit up the competition. At the plate he went 7-9 (.778) with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in and on the mound he was 2-0 helping his team reach the championship game. A stellar run of games that only help solidify what we can all see coming in his future.

Mike Abate had this to say, “​​Extremely proud of this young man. Just a young kid playing the game the right way. With addition to his MVPs and player of the month awards, to leading his team to both a state and regional championship. What you don’t see is all the hard work he puts in not only on the field but off. He plays the game with heart and a great deal of passion. This is the way it’s suppose to be played at any level! Keep working hard Sammy and these Home-runs will be the first of many!

Success is something that Abdelwahab is very familiar with so far in his young life. He has already been a part of two Cal Ripken state championship wins and regional title where he was recognized with the MVP award. He and his team will be headed to the Cal Ripken 10U World Series this coming summer, which is another chance for more to see his incredible skill set. With all this success though Abdelwahab is just like most other kids his age. When he is playing or working for baseball he is playing football and basketball with his friends. He is a mega sports fan – watching his Mets and Giants any chance he gets! Abdelwahab also enjoys fishing, video games, and playing with his younger brother. He is a good student who loves to read short stories but best to make them about sports, those are his favorites! When he grows up he wants to play baseball in Florida and then ultimately professionally but additionally wants to be a team doctor.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Abdelwahab once more on earning this honor of FCB Athlete of the Month! The hours of hard work and success on the field do not go unnoticed. We are excited to see what the future has in store because it is only going to get better from here on out!

First County Bank Athlete of the Month – Jack Hoch

First County Bank Athlete of the Month – Jack Hoch

Our January, First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January 2021 is Jack Hoch. Hoch is a 17 year old senior, switch hitting, captain at Stamford High School. The leader of the Stamford Black Knights team is one the most diligent, respectful and hard working athletes we are blessed to have coming into the Academy. Hoch in his senior year has plenty to concern himself with; school work, applications and school interviews. However, Hoch is the only captain on the Stamford roster and has taken complete responsibility for his squad’s winter workout. He is both leading the charge but more importantly leading by example.

Hoch is a big, lean, strong athlete who has found a home in the outfield and on the mound. His ability to cover ground out in that wide open space and have nerves of steel on the bump make him a dynamic player for Coach Rit Lacomis this upcoming season. 

Lacomis had this to say, “Jack is extremely deserving of this recognition. He’s a tremendous baseball player, fantastic student, and even better person. Jack brings everything a coach wants in a player to the SHS Baseball Program and uses it to continuously make everyone around him better. He is someone that willingly leads his peers and is looked up to by underclassmen. Although Jack’s on-field contributions to the SHS Baseball team are important, his main value to our program runs much deeper.” 

Although, what makes Jack Hoch even more impressive than anything we could say about his baseball skill and acumen is the level of achievement in school and what he does off the field. Hoch maintains a 3.96 GPA with the lofty (but achievable) goal of going to an academically competitive college with the plans to study neuroscience this coming fall. The school has yet to be determined but Hoch’s drive and ability to persevere will make this endeavor an awesome journey for our Athlete of the Month.

Jack has lived quite a baseball life, starting out as the die-hard Mets fan those around him have come to know and love, his playing career started in Stamford at just 4 years old. Hoch played in what is formerly known as Springdale Little League (now Stamford North), then progressed to Stamford Babe Ruth where at 15 years old Hoch made the 18U roster. In addition, Hoch got a lot of experience from his fall seasons with the Connecticut Blue Jays in Hartford as well. The best experience of Hoch’s baseball life has to be his coaching the Stamford North Little League 10U All Star team, where he passed on his knowledge and experiences to each of those dedicated players.  

Coach Conte at Bobby V’s had this to say about Jack, “Jack is the kind of person you bend over backwards to make time to work with!  He schedules his own training sessions, maximizes every minute of his training, somehow finds time to work in some Met’s or current science banter and he’s walked to BVSA in the rain multiple times!  As a coach we get blessed with a handful of players who push us to be better coaches and people.  Jack is definitely one of those people! The maturity and dedication to excellence is something we can all learn from.  Can’t wait to see what he does this spring for baseball as well as through and after college, beyond baseball.  My personal prediction after baseball, he helps solve some major health crisis in the future!!”

It is exciting to see what the future holds for Hoch, but without a shadow of doubt it will definitely be a bright one. A lot of things to look forward to; a senior season, getting accepted to the right college, and starting that next chapter of his journey.  We at BVSA who have seen you coming in over the past decade want to say congratulations and that we cannot wait to see what unfolds very soon. It is great to have such a shining example of what hard work and determination can create!

Justin Virgulak

Justin Virgulak

Writer and Editor