7 December 2017
Former Maribyrnong Sports Academy cricket student Adam Korsak is one of just over 50 students in the past 11 years to have been placed into the college system in the US, but Adam has gone about it in a slightly different way.
While most students have played the sport that gets them into college at a high representative level, Adam has never been to a game of Gridiron in his life and the first game he plays for Rutgers College will also be the first competitive game he will have played.
Adam says the opportunity came as a bit of a surprise, “I was just playing local football here in Melbourne for the Albion football club, when Nathan Chapman, the founder of ProKick Australia got in touch and suggested that punting was something that I should consider. It took me a while to get committed to the program, but once I did I started training with him full time, which led to my scholarship at Rutgers being offered to me in July of this year.”
The former State cricketer was originally at MSA from year 8 as a Cricket Athlete and played in a State team in 2013 with the likes of Victorian Bushrangers Will Pucovski, Blake Thompson and Sam Grimwade. Adam says while he had always considered going onto higher education, he thought that would be here in Melbourne. “It took me a year after finishing school to work out what I wanted to do in life, but I never thought I would get the chance to once again combine school and sport together after being at Maribyrnong. I’m 20 now and to get the chance to attend a division one school in America and four years of study combined with playing Gridiron is an amazing opportunity to come my way.”
Adam’s kicking was the thing that got him noticed, and as a result his will play the position of punter for the college, but the pressure will be on to hold his spot in the team. “Generally there are 2 to 3 punters on a team and due to the fact I’m on a full scholarship I’m pretty sure I’ll be the main guy for the 2018 season, and I look forward to having to other punters on the team keeping me honest and making sure I reach my full potential right throughout the season.”
As Adam had not considered College before finishing his VCE, he needed to complete 12 units of study in 1 year at Victoria University to give him eligibility to be able to play at NCAA Div. 1 level. Adam says if you have aspirations of going to College you should have a chat to Maureen Spencer Gardner our College facilitator and admissions officer. “You need to do the right units here at Maribyrnong or at least get the right grades out of high school to be able to go straight into College in the States. But if it doesn’t work out that way for you then you can do what I did and go to University for a year and get your 8 to 12 depending on the conference you’ll be playing in. There is also the option of going to Junior College in America and getting through that way. Whatever you choose I suggest you go have a chat to Maureen Spencer Gardiner who will point you in the right direction.”
Adam has spent a fair bit of time training with the team at Pro Kick Australia to get him prepared for that first game where he could be playing in front of around 50,000 plus fans. “One of my first games will be against Ohio State who sell out their home games every year. In the past 50 years they haven’t had a crowd under 100,000 people and on top of that every now and then they get a blizzard as well, so that should be exciting.”
As Adam is on a full Athletic scholarship, he won’t need to get a job while in New Jersey as everything is looked after by the College. “While I’m at the college on a full Athletic Scholarship all my food, accommodation, clothing, laundry and study is taken care off. So I won’t really have time to do anything else because I’ll be fulltime studding and fulltime training and playing football at a pretty high level. So that my occupation for the next four years.”
Adam is extremely grateful for the opportunity he has been given and has this word of advice for any Maribyrnong Student who would like to follow on his path. “The main thing is eligibility. So I would suggest going to see Maureen and the advisors here at Maribyrnong and get your subjects and grades to a point where transferring to college is a smooth transition and you can start straight away. Maribyrnong Sports Academy also provides an excellent gym service, and I suggest working with the Phys Prep staff on preparing your body to also make the transition to the vigorous schedule that awaits when you get to America. Being at Maribyrnong gives you an amazing head start with the weight lifting and strength programs. And finally use all the resources including Ola and Stephen to make sure your nutrition and mindset is spot on as well. If you work on all those three things and don’t take any for granted, then getting into the college system will be a lot easier to do straight out of High School.”
Adam has arrived at Rutgers for orientation and is getting ready to start his education and training.
You can follow Adam’s journey on twitter @AdamKorsak
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2017 Sporting Blue Awards