First-year walk-on living dream of playing college ball

By Josh Wolmer & Patrick Carbone – 1851 Contributors

First-year Matt Paharik playing third base during a high school game senior year.
Photo courtesy of Matt Paharik

Matt Paharik grew up in Boylston, Mass, in a time when Boston sports was at its peak. Teams were winning championships, and Paharik began hitting the diamond.

Like many other athletes, Paharik looked up to many big leaguers as his inspirations, specifically David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, who he grew up watching. However, the person who inspired him the most was his grandfather. “My grandfather has always been a big role model to me, he was really athletic growing up. He was always watching my sports games, whether it was football, baseball, or basketball,” said Paharik. Making his grandfather proud, Paharik strives to make his future the best it can be.

Paharik was a two-sport athlete, playing football and baseball in high school. While he enjoyed his time on the grid-iron, his first love was always baseball. He has played baseball since his mom first signed him up at four years old. He worked his way through little league, Babe Ruth league, middle school, junior varsity, and then cracked the varsity roster his junior year.

His high school coach Sean Flynn said Paharik knows what it means to be an athlete. “Matt was always working hard at his position. He came to practice ready to play and was a true student of the game…He put in extra time in the batting cage and pregame fielding practice to improve his footwork and positioning,” said Flynn.

When deciding where to further his education after high school, Paharik said there were two deciding factors. “It came down to both financial and athletic opportunities. I thought Lasell would be the best fit because I was confident I had a good shot to make the baseball team, it’s good academics, they had the major I was looking to pursue, and it was the right fit.” He is majoring in business management with hopes to own his own business one day.

At Lasell, he Paharik managed to make the roster despite being an unknown walk-on at the start of the year. He is now one of the younger members of an older team set to graduate 16 players in the spring.

Baseball head coach Bill Uberti said he is excited to see what the first-year infielder can contribute but emphasized the work he still has to do. “Matt needs to learn from the upperclassmen and continue to work on his game, both physically and mentally. I was very impressed with his strength, coachability and work ethic this fall. He needs to continue to be consistent with his habits, rely on discipline and be patient in his development,” said Uberti.

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