School: Hen Hud
Athletic accomplishment: As of Thursday, Cunningham finished the season with 137 completions out of 238 passes for 2,070 yards, 30 passing touchdowns, and a 58 percent completion percentage. As a rusher, Cunningham’s ran the ball 44 times for 130 yards and scored five times. He became the most prolific passer in Hen Hud history with 12 school records including most passing yards in a career (2,984) and most TD passes in a career (39). Cunningham led the Sailors to the Class A quarterfinal last week. He’s been a member of the football team for four years. Cunningham is also a member of the varsity baseball team.
Academic accomplishment: Cunningham has a 93.8 GPA. His coursework includes Advanced Placement, Honors, and Accelerated Coursework. Cunningham’s undecided as to college but knows what he wants to major in business concentrating in finance. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Math Honor Society. He’s a mathlete. After school, Cunningham’s a participant in Student Government. He’s a member of the Stars and Stripes Club and science club. In the community, he’s a Youth basketball rec coach for the Town of Cortlandt. Outisde of school, Cunningham’s a lifeguard for the Cortlandt Yacht Club and Buchanan Day Camp. He’s also a Summer Day Camp counselor for the Town of Cortlandt.
Getting to know Nick Cunningham
The Journal News: Your thoughts on the 2016 season?
Nick Cunningham: It was a heck of a journey. It was great. It was so much fun with me and all my friends. The entire team, we gave it our all every game and left it all out on the field. We gave it our all but it didn’t pan out. None the less, it was a great time.
TJN: Why do you play football?
NC: I love it. There’s nothing like it. It’s my second love behind my parents and my brother. It’s a great game. Just watching it on TV and seeing the pure enjoyment people get out of it while playing, I realized I had to give it a try. I get that same enjoyment every single time I play.
TJN: Next year, do you know where you want to go next year and if you’re continuing football or baseball?
NC: I’m far from knowing where I’m going to school next year. I’m looking everywhere but it’s a tough decision. I’d love to continue playing both sports at either a Division I, II, or III or even club or intramural. I love sports. It’s something great and it taught it me so much about myself and life in general. It would be great to be able to have the ability to continue to play.
TJN: Do you know what you want to study?
NC: Oddly enough, I want to be in business and study finance. I’ve always been good at math and science not that I’m bad at other things. I’m just liked knowing there’s some sort of an answer somewhere. Numbers don’t tell you everything but they tell you a lot about certain things like in sports and the stock market.
TJN: Was the fact that you are good with numbers one of the reasons you wanted to become a mathlete?
NC: That and a lot of my friends did it before I did – not that I was scared to be labeled a mathlete or anything. I didn’t really know what it was. My math teacher just happened to be, I guess you could call her our coach. She asked me if I wanted to do it. It’s very competitive oddly enough. I neve realized it. The movie Mean Girls was the only reference I had when it came to mathletes. It’s a lot of fun. I love it.
TJN: When you joined, what was the reaction of your classmates seeing ‘the jock’ join the mathletes?
NC: I did get some funny looks when I said it. Some people were definitely skeptical and maybe thought I was joking. I joined and I ended up loving it.
TJN: Now that you’ve joined, is cool to break the “stereotype” that jocks aren’t smart?
NC: I think it’s cool. I would love for that were to be what every single kid that I play with got out of me nothing about sports. If that would be what they got out of it, there’s more to life then just sports, what you do in school is much more important than what you do on any field anywhere. What you do in the classroom is going to prepare you for life. If that’s what they take away from me, I’d be more than satisfied.
TJN: What’s your most memorable piece of community service work?
NC: Coaching rec basketball. That was an absolute dream. I loved that. Last year, I coached a rec basketball team of fifth and sixth graders and those kids were great. I saw the same kind of energy and love that I have for football in their love for basketball. For some of them, it was the first time they ever picked up a basketball. They were so eager to learn, to play, it was so cool. I was in the same boat as them. I had teenager coaches and was so excited to play. I saw the same kind of excitement in them. It made me revisit my childhood.
TJN: Are you excited for the baseball season?
NC: I love baseball. It’s not football to me. I love football and the constant action. We had a great baseball season last year. Baseball’s second to football obviously. It’s not a secret to anyone for me. I love playing it – love my coaches and teammates. It’s a great sport, I love playing.
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically. Academic achievements, leadership, citizenship, and school and community activities are also factors. The winner is selected each week by a panel of athletic directors and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.