He never really had a choice, sports were something he was expected to participate and excel in. His dad had high expectations for him. Not that he was complaining, he loved sports and still does.
Connor Smolensky’s competitive spirit started at a young age. He grew up playing sports in Long Valley, New Jersey. His dad was a major influence in this. “Early as I can remember, he always had a baseball in my hand.” He started out playing soccer and bounced around between sports. His brother played football and baseball. After high school, his brother quit sports and Connor saw how this disappointed his father. Connor ended up sticking with baseball as his sport. After high school, he had a few offers from Division III schools, but Connor knew he wanted to go to a Division I school and have a “real college experience.”
Today, although not in stadiums or big screens, he finds a way to continue his love for sports. Connor plays intramural softball and basketball with UGA recreational sports. “It brings you back to high school, but I’m definitely not as fierce as i was in high school,” said Connor.
He also writes for the sports section of the school newspaper, the Red and Black. He began writing for soccer, golf, basketball, and now football. Connor enjoyed writing for men’s basketball the most and women’s soccer the least. “Football has been very stressful. It’s made me wonder if this is what I want to do or not. I feel like it’s more of the stress of being a student as well as doing that,” Connor said. Even through the stress, he could see himself doing that for a living.
In the future, Connor wants to move back up north and work with sports in some aspect- if not for sports journalism, in some sort of media relations. “I just want to keep my options open,” said Connor. As it turns out, even though Connor did not have much of a say in whether or not he wanted to play sports as a child, it has led him to many opportunities and open doors in life.