Matt Katnik’s love for the shot put wasn’t supposed to be this strong. During his freshman year, he picked up the sport because it was just something to do during the football offseason.
As a sophomore, the love for the shot put grew even more and by end of his junior year, Katnik knew that his senior season of football would be his last. He spurned any potential suitors to play football at the collegiate level, with the thought of investing in his career in track and field.
It was a difficult but calculated decision for the St. John Bosco senior, who is undefeated in the shot put this season and will be looking to repeat in the event at the CIF Southern Section Divisionals at Cerritos College this weekend.
He thought about all of the risks that can come with having a career in football and decided against it.
"I think it’s going to help me preserve my body a little bit better than playing football (and) you can do it a lot longer," the USC commit said. "I see it now with guys like Junior Seau, rest in peace, people who have dementia and struggle to walk and have back issues, I take note in that type of stuff."
Katnik also sees a potential high reward for life after, what he hopes is, a lengthy shot put career.
"I really want to make my stake in a big company like Nike or anyone that would be able to sponsor me like adidas and start a relationship with that company and, hopefully, work for them after my throwing career is over," Katnik said.
He expects his decision to end his football career to continue to be difficult once he gets on the USC campus. There is already an open door for him to walkon to the USC football team. Even as a fan, he expects some difficulty to come with going to the Coliseum and watching games.
"I know I’m going to miss it but I think this is for the better," said the Bosco former offensive lineman.