Kai Leckszas has his sights on D1

Aidan Sobocinski

While most Wilson students have been stuck at home in light of COVID-19, junior Kai Leckszas, shortstop and right-handed pitcher for the Wilson Varsity Baseball team, has continued to play, perfecting his craft in pursuit of potential D1 offers. Despite the many setbacks presented by COVID-19, Leckszas hasn’t lost focus on his number one goal: securing a spot on a college team.

Since the age of five, baseball has always been his calling. Leckszas was one of few freshmen to ever make the Wilson varsity team. Leckszas attributes his favorite aspects of Wilson baseball to “the fun atmosphere created by all of the coaches and players,” as well as “the ability to compete for a state championship.” 

Leckszas has no shortage of baseball in his life; when he isn’t playing for Wilson, he plays for a nationally ranked travel team, The Gamers, based in St. Louis, Missouri. On top of that, he is also on the DC Gatorball club team run by Wilson coach Jimmy Silk. However, he is currently not playing with any of those teams due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

In the midst of his first of two crucial years for college recruitment, Leckszas is left with limited opportunity to display his wide range of talent, including an impressive 92 miles-per-hour fastball and a whopping 104 miles-per-hour exit velocity at the plate. The current dead period, a period of time in which no college coaches can have face-to-face contact with highschool student athletes, has limited Leckszas’ opportunities to meet with D1 coaches. 

With the inability for coaches to see high school athletes play, they are forced to rely on the student athlete’s video tapes. D1 schools will be making offers solely based on tapes until the dead period is lifted, however, D3 schools don’t have any designated dead periods; their offers tend to roll out during athletes’ senior year.

In spite of all of the setbacks, Leckszas has still received interest from several D1 programs including Duke, Maryland, Cornell, and Villanova, and is hoping that one will lead to a spot on a roster. Leckszas emphasized that Collin Bosley-Smith, Class of 2020 Wilson varsity baseball alum and current pitcher for Duke baseball, has had a major impact on his recruitment process. “Because he went through the same process not that long ago, he’s able to give me guidance throughout it all,” added Leckszas. Having Collin as his mentor, as well as the support of the Wilson Baseball coaching staff, Leckszas has successfully put himself on the radar of many college coaches, receiving offers from head coaches at both Parkland College in Illinois and Xavier University in Ohio.   

Due to restrictions on playing, Leckszas makes up for his lost time on the field by attending the gym a few times a week. “What distinguishes a certain player from the rest is his work ethic,” said Leckszas.

Looking forward, Leckszas is hopeful about being able to play a full summer of baseball and attending big tournaments with top schools’ head coaches there to see his full display of skills. Additionally, he intends to pursue business or engineering while playing collegiate baseball. No matter where he ends up, “any opportunity to continue my baseball career is one I’m willing to take,” Leckszas said.