Matt Wojciechowski has played for the South Lakes varsity baseball team since his freshman season. As a junior in 2014, he was a primary reason the Seahawks started to believe in themselves.
After struggling in recent seasons, South Lakes started the 2014 campaign by losing seven of its first eight games. The Seahawks would turn things around, however, winning six of eight to close the regular season and earning the No. 2 seed in the Conference 6 tournament.
Wojciechowski, voted captain by his teammates, earned first-team all-conference as a pitcher. He also played second base and shortstop.
Now a rising senior, Wojciechowski is looking for continued improvement for the South Lakes baseball team. He recently participated in Q&A via email with The Connection.
*Connection: You recently traveled to Haiti. What was the reason for the trip? How long were you there? How was the experience?
Wojciechowski: I traveled to Haiti with a group from my church for a mission trip in which we held a camp for the kids there and had many activities such as soccer, Frisbee, and Hacky Sack. We also taught them Bible stories and sang songs with the kids. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and truly an amazing experience that was very eye opening. The country is in complete ruins after the earthquake and is very depressing to see, but it makes you want to act on it and do everything you can to help the country.
*Connection: Are you interested in playing college baseball? Are you committed anywhere?
Wojciechowski: I am very interested in playing baseball in college and right now I am not committed to play anywhere. As of now, there are a few schools showing interest but I'm not quite sure how serious they are. I am not focusing on certain schools right now as I would like to keep my options open in order to find the right school for me.
*Connection: The 2014 South Lakes baseball team got off to a rough start before turning things around in the second half. Why did the team improve and what did it feel like to be a part of it?
Wojciechowski: The team improved because our mindset improved. The beginning of the year was very tough and it seemed as if South Lakes baseball was getting ready for another gruesome season, but it all changed during spring break. We went 2-2 and lost in the semifinals after finishing first in group play. We came back believing that we could play with the best of them and started to believe in ourselves. It was an awesome thing to be a part of. The team came together and our chemistry has come a long way. We would always get frustrated with each other after a loss and could never figure out what was wrong. But once we started winning, our team became happier and started getting along better. Our mindset at practice changed as we knew that we were playing for a lot more than in previous years as we would typically finish in the 6-8 seeds. It was a great building period for the organization as a whole and should hopefully carry over to next year.
*Connection: Is there anything you experienced during your junior year that can help you as a senior?
Wojciechowski: I learned that baseball really is half mental and that it starts in your head. I also learned that the season starts as soon as it ends. It really is a full-year sport as you train and get stronger during the offseason. After being nominated captain, I made everyone go to the weight room at least two-three times a week and go hit three times a week. Next year, we need to do the same thing, if not more.
*Connection: At what age did you start playing baseball? Have you always been a pitcher?
Wojciechowski: I started playing baseball when I was 4 back in Texas. I started pitching about 4 years ago for my travel team.
*Connection: What is your favorite athletic moment from your first three years at South Lakes?
Wojciechowski: My favorite memory was probably the game I pitched against Langley the first time we played them this year. It was a pitcher’s duel between myself and Jake McSteen and they won on a walk-off in the ninth inning. I pitched eight innings, allowed two hits, no runs and struck out nine.
*Connection: What is your favorite food?
Wojciechowski: My favorite food is steak and shrimp wrapped in bacon.
*Connection: Who is your favorite music artist? Why?
Wojciechowski: My favorite music artist is Eminem, because he has music for almost anything. He has great meaning to his songs and I listen to him before every game to pump myself up.
*Connection: What is your favorite movie? Why?
Wojciechowski: My favorite movie is ‘Dumb and Dumber’ because it has the stupidest jokes that are just hilarious and I laugh about 95 percent of the movie. It can always cheer me up.
*Connection: Do you play video games? If so, which one is your favorite?
Wojciechowski: I play video games during my free time and mainly only play sports games, depending on the sports season. My favorite is MLB The Show.
*Connection: What is your favorite hobby outside of baseball?
Wojciechowski: My favorite hobby besides baseball is basketball because I love the constant motion and I can play pretty well.
*Connection: What location is the farthest you have traveled from the Washington, D.C. metro area?
Wojciechowski: The farthest I've traveled from D.C. is Germany. I go there every summer for a mission trip. We teach kids how to play baseball. It's my favorite thing to do during the summer because I get to use my abilities to teach other kids how to play the game and spread the love of the game throughout other countries.
*Connection: Are you a pro sports fan? If so, who are your favorite teams?
Wojciechowski: I'm a huge pro sports fan and I follow every single sport. My favorite baseball teams are the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals. My favorite basketball team is the San Antonio Spurs (I'm not a bandwagon fan; my dad is from San Antonio and grew up there). My favorite football team is the Indianapolis Colts. My favorite hockey team is the Washington Capitals.