- Last Updated: 1:52 AM, May 24, 2012
- Posted: 1:50 AM, May 24, 2012
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Matt Coposio is quiet and reserved. He doesn’t do a lot of talking, on the field or off of it. He lets his play speak for itself.
His bat, however, has made plenty of noise in each of the last two NYSAISAA championship games.
One year after his two-hit, four-RBI performance in the finals, the Poly Prep senior outfielder came up big in the season’s biggest game yet again. He smoked a two-run, first-inning homerun in the Blue Devils’ 4-2 win over Fieldston on Wednesday afternoon at Hackley in Tarrytown.
“It’s my last game in this uniform, I want to go out with a bang,” the co-captain said. “That’s what me and [fellow senior] Andrew Doar did, not just this game but the entire season.”
Coposio got an inside fastball from Fieldston left-hander Max Kassan and turned it on, rifling the pitch over the wall in left-center field. With ace Andrew Zapata going the distance, dominating the Eagles, Poly Prep won a second straight NYSAISAA title.
The Felician-bound Coposio was lauded after the victory by Poly Prep coach Matt Roventini for his leadership skills, as one of just two seniors starters along with Doar. He quietly went about his job every day, arriving early and leaving late.
When Poly Prep lost two games in a row, to Fieldston and CHSAA contender St. Joseph by the Sea, Coposio was a key to the turnaround, personally making sure his younger teammates never lost confidence.
“I’m going to miss Matt, not just because of the way he plays,” Roventini said. “He’s one of those lunch pail kids. He does whatever you ask and he does it in half the time.”
His first-inning blast was the surge Poly Prep needed. It relieved any pressure it might have been feeling and even when Zapata was touched up for two unearned runs in the third inning, the Blue Devils still held the lead.
Coposio leaves Poly Prep a winner, a two-time private school state champion and four-time Ivy Prep League winner. He was a four-year starter for Roventini. Often, he was overlooked by bigger name teammates, but as an upperclassman, after suffering through two straight losses in the finals, he made sure there wasn’t more heartbreak.
“He’s a gamer,” Roventini said. “I’ve always said big-time players step up in big games. He’s done that all year.”
Last year he had two hits and four RBIs in Poly Prep’s eight-run sixth inning to erase a deficit. This spring, there would never be a deficit, because of his early homer. The result was another celebration, in the final game of his Poly Prep career.
“You can’t explain it,” Coposio said of the joyous feeling. “You play all year, go 20-4, end the season with a win. It’s a great feeling. I’ll remember it forever.”Follow @NYPostsports