By Tim Lima
---- — WEST NEWBURY — Ryan Kuchar does it all for Pentucket High School athletics: plays three sports, contributes heavily on the stat sheets and captains his teams to victories.
If you asked Kuchar how many points he has through three basketball games, he wouldn’t be able to tell you, because he doesn’t care. He would, however, be able to tell you what his team’s record is and how specifically they got there.
Kuchar has 48 points through the first three games and his team is 2-1, due in large part to the leadership that got them there. The Sachems rely heavily on him to control everything from the stat book to the locker room, and why wouldn’t they? Kuchar simply is a leader first and a stellar athlete second.
As the Sachems quarterback and senior captain, he directed his team to an 8-2 record and the Division 4 North Fina, where they lost a nail-biter to Bedford. Kuchar now leads his team on the hardwood as their captain. Come spring, he will take his talents to the diamond.
“I got elected captain for baseball, too,” Kuchar said.
What sets Kuchar apart from the rest is the ability to know when he is needed. Rather than insert himself into situations that don’t warrant his involvement, he recognizes when he has to step in. Then, he does what is needed of him.
“This past season, someone on our team got a personal foul for unnecessary roughness,” Kuchar said. “As a captain, I ran over to cool him down and tell that that he’s hurting the team. I just said we had to move on to the next play and get past this.”
Kuchar’s leadership ability has been needed recently, after his team came out flat against Hamilton-Wenham in their first loss of the season. Preparing his team for games by making sure they are pushing themselves to improve is something that Kuchar takes great pride in.
“As a captain, I had to get everyone together so we could realize that we are capable of playing better,” he said. “We had to get it together and play as we can. After the game I told everyone we had to work hard in practice to fix our mistakes.”
In terms of enjoying the role, it’s a source of pride for Kuchar. The title comes with a great deal of responsibility, but it is something that he enjoys.
“My teammates look up to me and I’m looked at as a role model,” he said. “As a captain, I have to keep everyone in line, keep them doing their best and working their hardest. I love everything about being a captain. I like pushing my teammates to do better and telling them what they should be doing better.”
Being named a captain is not something that the coaches award or something that is granted by previous captains. It is something that the entire team votes on collectively. For Kuchar, that’s something worth taking pride in.
“I think it’s a big thing that I’ve been thought of as a captain and voted by my players, not my coaches,” he said. “It means a lot to me to be the leader of my team.