WEST NEWBURY — Standing on the mound, an out away from his second no-hitter in 55 days, former Pentucket star Ryan Kuchar could have been overcome by nerves as he closed in on such a rare feat.
But after everything he accomplished, all of the doubters he silenced and all of the tremendous moments from his career as a three-sport star and three-sport captain for the Sachems, it takes more than making history to shake Kuchar.
“I love it,” said the Newburyport Legion ace. “I love the competition. I have loved it since I was 5 years old. No matter what sport it is, I love to compete and win and I truly hate to lose. Nothing is worse.
“I know I’m not the tallest or the fastest and I don’t jump the highest. But I am going to compete and fight every day.”
Kuchar could have been content as the starting quarterback on the Pentucket football team. He could have been happy being the ace pitcher for the baseball team or go-to small forward for the basketball team.
But where would the fun in that be for the Union College-bound athlete?
“Ryan is just a very special kid,” said Sachems baseball coach Tom L’Italien. “He is just a tremendous competitor, and when your greatest competitor is also your best player and best leader, great things will come. Ryan is just something else.”
Kuchar utilized that fire — and more than a little talent — to become a three-year starting quarterback for Pentucket, leading them to the Division 4 North finals last fall, in addition to being the leading scorer for the Sachems basketball team and being named Daily News Player of the Year in baseball. He also served as captain for all three sports.
“Ryan has just been awesome for us as an athlete and as a kid,” said Pentucket head football coach Steve Hayden. “He was tremendous for us in football, whether it was quarterback, defensive back or punter, and has just brought so much leadership.”