For high school seniors participating in spring sports, the coronavirus pandemic denied them a final payoff for their years of hard work and dedication and one final chance to represent their school. The News-Chronicle has begun recognizing Shippensburg spring sports seniors to give them the Senior Night they were unable to have on the field.
This week’s Senior Night Spotlight is on Greyhound track and field athlete Nick Gustafson.
During the indoor season, Gustafson qualified for the PIAA Indoor Championships in the shot put, where he placed 10th. His season-best throw traveled 54 feet, 2.5 inches, which would have set a new Shippensburg Area Senior High School outdoor record.
As a junior, Gustafson placed 8th in the shot put at the District 3 Championships.
“It was very disappointing knowing that there will be no track season. During indoor, I had already thrown 6 inches past the outdoor record. To officially get it, I had to throw it outdoors. I wanted to do that and keep throwing it farther and keep increasing that record. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that,” Gustafson said Friday.
Gustafson was a three-sport athlete throughout much of high school, starring on the football and track and field teams, and playing basketball as a freshman and sophomore.
Nick started playing baseball when he was 7 years old and began playing football just a year later. He later took up basketball and began participating in track and field during his freshman year of high school.
“I pretty much played football and basketball the whole way up through,” Nick stated. “I’ve pretty much grown up with sports, between my older brothers (former Greyhound athletes Tyler and Cody) and my dad being a coach.”
Nick also answered the following questions regarding his experiences with the Greyhounds:
What do you love about being a Greyhound?
The Greyhound community is awesome. As football players you pretty much have the whole town behind your back. Because of the successful seasons that we have had, whether it is football, basketball or track, we’ve developed such a strong community and it is really awesome to play for them.
Favorite moment as a Greyhound?
Every football season. You can never go wrong with a Greyhound football season. One of my most memorable moments has to be my winning touchdown catch against Solanco in the first round of playoffs this past season.
What advice do you have for underclassmen?
Really work hard. You never really know when it could be your last. We kind of were cut short here with our senior season. You can’t really take anything for granted, because you never know [what can happen], so work hard.
What are your future plans?
I plan to attend Grove City College to major in business and to play football and track and field. (He is the third Gustafson to play for Grove City, joining brothers Tyler and Cody).
Grove City really called out to me with both of my brothers going out there. The morals that they have established out there and the football program is just phenomenal, and I’ll be able to have one more year to play football beside Cody.