Most freshman never get the opportunity, during their first year of high school, to start the first game of the season in their respective varsity sport. While some get past the learning curve quicker than others, it usually takes time for most players to hit that comfort level of competing against players that are three and four years older than them.
Scituate (Massachusetts) High School's David Podurgiel is different. As the Boston Globe reported recently, the senior shortstop took to the varsity baseball team from the first first day he stepped on campus. For some reason, Scituate head coach Kevin Greer felt like there was something about Podurgiel that separated him from other freshmen..
"I had seen him come up through Scituate,'' Greer told the Boston Globe. "My assistant coaches had talked to me about it and that one year — he just had that baseball sense. He's a very coachable kid. Once I put two and two together and he had a breakout freshman year, a great freshman year, I knew that I had to put him in a spot."
The senior shortstop was so good as a freshman, in fact, that he ended up starting and playing every game for the varsity team. Four years later, he'll depart school with an incredible mark, having played every inning for the Scituate baseball team -- 414 consecutive innings and 60 career games -- since his first year of high school.
With the exception of a couple of bumps and bruises over the years, Podurgiel has been able to stay injury-free over his high school baseball career.
"My sophomore year I had a heel problem, but other than that I've been pretty healthy,'' Podurgiel told the Boston Globe. "I've been pretty fortunate that I haven't had any really unfortunate things like a twisted ankle or anything like that."
While Cal Ripken's mark of 2,632 consecutive games played is a lot more impressive than 414 consecutive innings and 60 career games, but when you look at it from a high school perspective, it's still really remarkable.