Senior Tanner Koza, son of Alicia and James Koza, is a member of the Summit High School baseball team.
Not even a broken finger could stop Koza in a game earlier this season. While playing catcher, a ball came in and smashed his finger. He went on to get a hit anyway. Only later would he discover that his finger required surgery.
It’s a sign of the no-quit spirit that underlies his love of baseball.
“I’ve played for as long as I can remember,” Koza said. “Ever since tee-ball I’ve pursued baseball and tried to reach my full potential because of the respect and love I have for the game.”
During his time playing the game, Koza has drawn strength and motivation from his teammates. He hopes that the work they have done together will leave a positive mark on the school.
“The idea of building and preserving a legacy for the school and program motivates me to succeed,” he said.
There’s also another fact, though, that keeps Koza striving to do his best each time he takes the field. It might not sound as powerful as wanting to leave a legacy, but it has the power to motivate just the same.
“To be blunt, I don’t want to lose,” Koza said. “Losing isn’t fun, so I try and do everything in my power to contribute to a win.”
But of course, no one wins all the time, and for inspiration during those moments when on or off-field challenges present themselves, Koza has a role model to turn to: his father.
“He’s showed me how to handle adversity with composure and succeed after hard times,” Koza said.
That sort of guiding hand could prove very helpful as Koza, who describes himself as “ambitious,” looks to the next chapter of his life.
He wants to “attend Washington University in St. Louis or Auburn University and study mechanical engineering.”