If they were naming an MVP, it would be an easy choice.
The award would go to Maria Storck.
Storck is a senior at St. Basil’s Academy High School, and prior to everything getting shut down due to the corornavirus, the Panthers had one game. And their captain turned in a heck of a performance.
Storck went 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored, and threw out the only baserunner who attempted to steal on the catcher in a preseason win. The result, a win for Basil over Christopher Dock, didn’t much matter since it didn’t count in the standings, but it showed Storck was ready for a strong final campaign.
Then before it got started, it ended.
“That was probably my best game, so I was pretty excited about the start of the year, then it got delayed, then canceled,” said Storck, who lives in Fox Chase. “We had a good year last year, and we had a young team this year. I wanted to see how we could do. But this has ruined everything. It’s kind of put everything on hold. It’s disappointing.”
Especially for someone like Storck, who has been playing softball for her entire life. This would have been her final year on the diamond.
A three-sport star, Storck was a reserve this year on the Basil’s basketball team that won the District One championship and advanced to the state tournament. There, Storck was known for her defense and leadership.
But her main sport is soccer. And next year, she’ll be playing for Goldey Beacom College in Pike Creek Valley, Delaware.
“I like soccer the best, that’s always been my favorite sport,” said Storck, who plays sweeper. “Soccer is the one sport I can’t not play. I just miss it when I’m not playing. I love all three, but soccer has always been my favorite sport.”
Storck began her soccer career with FoxRok, and later played club soccer for Huntingdon Valley Athletic Association, and there she learned to play on turf surfaces.
“I liked playing on turf a lot because it’s so fast,” Storck said. “Playing on turf is so much faster, you have to make quick decisions and decide what to do. It makes defense a lot harder, but I like it. I got really comfortable playing on it.”
While soccer was her main sport, Storck got a lot out of playing all three sports for the Panthers.
She was a captain on all three teams, and that helped her become a better leader.
In basketball, while she wasn’t a starter, she played a huge role in reserve for the Panthers, who won four district championships during her career, and made a few deep runs in the state tournament. This year, the Panthers were ousted in the first round of the state playoffs in a fantastic game against another star-studded local team, Neumann-Goretti.
And softball gave her other great opportunities.
Last year, she represented her league in the Carpenter Cup, which hosts the best softball players in the tri-state area.
But she also got another great perk from playing for the Panthers.
She was able to play with her older sister, Paulina, an outfielder who also played soccer. Paulina graduated from Basil in 2018. And her younger sister, Adrianna, is now a freshman at Basil. She plays three sports like her older sister.
“Last year was different, I was the only one there, it was the only year I didn’t have a sister there,” Strock said. “It’s fun playing with both of them. I think playing with them makes you closer. I’ve played with both of them.
“My family is very close and everyone like sports. My parents coached us, my brother played football at La Salle, and I was able to play sports with my sisters. I think it definitely makes us closer, but we’re all close.
“My parents played sports. My dad played football and baseball at Cardinal Dougherty, and my mom played field hockey at Northeast. She did soccer and track, too. We all love sports.”
Sports has also given Strock a boost in picking her major in college. Next year, she plans on studying business and sports management. And she’ll use everything she learned while being a captain in all three sports.
“I love sports, so I wanted to study something in that field,” she said. “And I really like talking to people. I think I’m pretty good at it. I like communicating with people, and that’s a big part of business. I think it mixes things I really like, so I think it’s something I could be really good at.
“I’m excited about Goldey Beacom. I loved everything about the school. It just felt like home. I think I’m going to really like it.”
But she’ll definitely be back to Basil. Not only will she be there to watch her sister play, she just wants to go back home.
“I love Basil, it’s been so good, best school,” Strock said. “They’ll be good at everything next year, too. They have good teams. I’ll be there any chance I get.”