Hamilton’s Obarski: Good Student, Solid Guy - And Athletic, To Boot - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Hamilton’s Obarski: Good Student, Solid Guy – And Athletic, To Boot

October 23rd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Hamilton’s Obarski: Good Student, Solid Guy – And Athletic, To Boot
Sports and Recreation

By Carson Roberts


It was a typical high school homecoming dance, down to the DJ playing loud music.

One student, Hamilton High senior Donovan Corn, recalled an amusing memory of the night.

“Daniel Obarski throws the funniest joke I’ve heard,” Corn said. “He says, ‘Hey, that would be me if I was a DJ!’ The guy was just very uncoordinated.”

It’s shocking that an athletic kid like Obarski would say that he’s uncoordinated. He plays on Hamilton’s football and hockey teams. The soccer team is vying for his services and he’s played volleyball.

Corn, a Hamilton defensive lineman and self-proclaimed best friend of Obarski, has witnessed the evolution of one of the top place-kickers and punters in the Valley. Obarski is among the few bright spots this season for the Huskies as they battle to avoid their first-ever losing record and missing the playoffs for the first time.

Obarski, through eight games, made 27 of 28 extra-point kicks, seven of 11 field-goal tries, including a 54-yarder in a loss at Mountain Pointe, and averaged 40.7 yards a punt, one of which sailed 67 yards.

He has drawn interest from recruiters from Air Force, Army, Indiana and Purdue.

But Corn, and almost anyone who knows Obarski, raves as much about who Obarski is as a person as they do his athletic exploits.

“He’s a great kid, super nice, just supportive – an all-around amazing person,” Connor Bottrill, a longtime hockey teammate of Obarski, said.

Obarski, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, has found time to play two grueling sports simultaneously, maintain his high grades, spend time with friends and navigate the college recruiting process.

Obarski has thrived in his frenzied schedule for years. He understands that to reach his high standards he must maintain a healthy diet, a structured sleep schedule and a frequent stretching routine.

“You’ve got to take care of yourself,” Obarski said. “It’s a lifestyle. You can’t just go out there and do it without being committed to it.”

He acknowledges that his lifestyle is different from the typical high school student. He often can’t go out with friends on weekends because he most likely has a game the next day.

Obarski comes from an athletic family. According to John Obarski, Daniel’s father, all four kids participated in club sports.

With his mentality and athletic genes, Daniel Obarski gave both his football and hockey coaches the confidence to allow him to participate in as many sports as he desires.

“It’s no problem,” said Hamilton football coach Mike Zdebski. “A kid goes and plays in the park, they can get hurt. He’s a good athlete. He takes care of his body.”

The situation is perfect for Obarski, who has also played volleyball and soccer. He believes his kicking prowess came from years of soccer.

Although Obarski wasn’t going to join the Hamilton soccer team this year, his father said some friends on the team have been recruiting his son, not for his kicking skill but citing a need for a goaltender. Obarski’s decision is on his shoulders. The Hamilton hockey team will support him either way.

“He’s pretty steady,” Huskies hockey coach Tim Newlin said. “The only worries we have are if he gets hurt playing football, or any lingering injury that might carry over into the game. But, I always make sure he communicates with me.”

Newlin stressed that any precautions he may take with Obarski would be so future scholarship opportunities aren’t jeopardized.

Obarski did miss the hockey team’s 4-2 loss to Desert Vista after hurting his shoulder the night before. In the third quarter of the Huskies’ 35-28 football loss to Basha, a Bears kickoff returner broke free. Obarski, the last line of defense, not only caught the runner but stripped the ball. The Huskies recovered.

Obarski, however, landed awkwardly on his shoulder, aggravating an injury he suffered years ago. He claimed his shoulder would need roughly a week, erring on the side of caution.

John Obarski appreciates his son’s competitiveness and willingness to sacrifice to attain his goals.

“It’s exciting. You watch your kid grow up playing sports, and you think he’s just like any other kid,” John Obarski said. “Then, you start seeing people outside the state develop interest and look at him,. You’re going, ‘I know he’s good, but is he that good?’”

Daniel Obarski is, in fact, that good. He can blast 54-yard field goals and fire bar-down slap shots with ease, his success a byproduct of his determination and maturity that earn the respect of his peers.

“You’re only a kid once,” Zdebski said, “so go out and do as much as you can and enjoy it.”

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