Anthony Mangano was a three-year varsity starter in both football and baseball for the Lake Zurich High School Bears.
As a sophomore defensive back in 2017, he helped the football team reach the Class 7A state title game. The middle infielder, who was an all-area selection as a junior, will continue his baseball career for the University of Iowa.
Q: What have you been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what were your final two months of high school like?
A; I've just been doing the most that I can through this whole pandemic -- lifting weights in my basement, running the lake and just trying to get together with my teammates. (April and May) were tough. My family (parents Jeff and Lori) and I sat down at the dinner table and talked. We had a lot of questions that couldn't be answered. There were a lot of unknowns. I just rolled and went with the flow, and tried to make the most out of every opportunity because what if the season (wasn't canceled)? I had to be ready. I had to knock the rust off. I had to swing it and field it. My dad and I found ways to do that.
Q: What did you learn facing this unprecedented adversity?
A: I learned how fast something can be taken away from you. But instead of dwelling on it, sitting on my couch and looking at it negatively, I looked at it like, 'What can I do positively to help the situation? What can I do to boost myself to become a better human being and better athlete during this time?'
Getting outside, hitting, fielding, running, lifting and doing the best that I can helped me have a positive attitude about the whole situation.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I was supposed to leave (to Iowa) at the end of June, but that doesn't look like that's happening. (Iowa) brought back football two weeks ago and brought back basketball this (past) week. If that all goes well, and if the (coronavirus) cases stay down, they're going to bring back baseball at the beginning of July. I'm (practicing) with the Illinois Lightning travel team and I'm also playing in a pro league with pro pitchers and hitters and college players as well. Getting games in will prepare me for playing at Iowa.