By Pat Delp Staff writer
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the batter could feel the tension cutting through the air like a knife.
He was up against the best pitcher in the world and he needed a hit to give his team the win.
The pitcher wound up and delivered and the batter swung and drove the ball over the fence farther than he ever had before.
However, this was not in a major league stadium where a lucky fan could go chasing after it. This stadium was created in the imagination of Nicholas Fecci and the whiffle ball he hit went flying into his neighbors’ backyard.
Some people may know Fecci as just a face on campus, or maybe a senior midfielder on the men’s soccer team, but there is a side to Fecci that not too many people know.
Fecci was born on July 13, 1995 in Red Bank, New Jersey to his parents Al and Kirby Fecci. With older sister Sybil and older brother Chris, Fecci is the youngest in his family, although he is close with both of his siblings.
He lived in Brick Township until he was seven and then he moved to Point Pleasant where he currently still lives today. For those of you unfamiliar to New Jersey, Brick Township and Point Pleasant are mainstays for the show “Jersey Shore.”
Growing up “down the shore,” Fecci often found himself on the beach playing any sport he could. Although he loved whiffle ball in his backyard, he always dreamed of being a professional soccer player.
“You always want to be a professional player in the sport that you play growing up and I was no exception,” Fecci said.
During his four years at Point Pleasant Borough High School, Fecci played a wide variety of sports. During his freshman year he played basketball as well as soccer.
After deciding he no longer wanted to pursue basketball, Fecci ran winter and spring track while still playing soccer in the fall.
Looking back at his athletic career in high school, Fecci remembered most fondly when he scored on his school’s bitter rival in soccer. To this day he claims it’s the best goal he’s ever scored.
As his high school career soon came to an end, Fecci found himself trying to decide where he should go to college. He knew that he wanted to play soccer, but despite being a strong player in high school Fecci fell through the recruiting cracks.
He emailed coaches by the dozen, expressing his interest in their school and their programs, but he never heard back from most.
When it came time to decide where to go, he found himself with three options: Hood, Widener and Susquehanna.
“I decided to go to [Susquehanna] because Coach Findlay gave me a call one night asking if I would come and join the team. He was the first and only coach to show interest in my future soccer career and I decided that night to go,” Fecci said.
That phone call proved to be more influential for the both of them than either realized at the time. Findlay had not only just recruited a strong forward but a four-year contributor and the eventual co-captain of his team.
In his senior season, Fecci started in 17 games and had three goals and one assist with 35 shots as one of the River Hawks’ offensive leaders with the second most points on the season with seven. He led the team in shots as well as shots on goal and was a constant threat to score whenever he touched the ball.
Over the course of his four-year career, Fecci played in 71 games while totaling 11 goals along with three assists, tallying 25 points. He scored at least two goals each season for all four years.
Fecci also tallied two game-winning goals while at Susquehanna, one of which came during this season.
While Fecci was part of the men’s soccer team at Susquehanna, it only finished with a losing record in the Landmark Conference once. That happened during Fecci’s sophomore year.
The team reached the conference playoffs in each of the other seasons Fecci played.
His fondest memory at Susquehanna was winning the Landmark Conference Championship during his freshman year.
“Being on the field for the final seconds [of the Conference Championship game] and running into the crowd was incredible and something I will never forget,” Fecci said.
Now that Fecci has hung up the cleats and his career has come to a close, he is looking forward to the rest of his final year at Susquehanna. Without soccer on his plate, what will Fecci be up to? He plans to enjoy the rest of the time he has with his friends.
Although adjusting to change is difficult and Fecci said he misses the game passionately every day, he now has had time to appreciate other aspects of the college life and catch up on his studies.
Fecci is currently in his final year as an accounting major in the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna.
So if you see Fecci on campus walking to class, eating with his friends at the Hawk’s Nest or hanging out on the weekend, don’t be afraid to ask him about his could-have-been whiffle ball career or the 120-yard hole-in-one that he hit playing golf as a nine-year-old. He is always up for meeting new people.