Falcon spotlight: Shortstop Paul Lytwynec

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JOEL LUXFORD
Paul Lytwynec was named one an OCAA All-Star athlete. He joins three other Falcons; Kady Hawkins, Rachel Dotzert and Sean Refflinghaus.

On October 16 the OCAA announced Fanshawe Falcon’s shortstop Paul Lytwynec would receive a League All-Star award for his efforts during the 2014 men’s baseball season.

Lytwynec lead the league in both hits (29) and doubles (seven). Paul also finished second in the league with a .468 average, .560 on-base percentage while playing excellent defense that led the Falcons to their first ever bronze medal in their inaugural season.

Want learn a little bit about his background, how he came to Fanshawe and how he deals with life as a student and varsity baseball player?

“I started playing baseball when I was pretty young, probably five or six,” he said. “My dad was a baseball player and got me playing [the game].”

Lytwynec was born in Oakville but played London baseball for the majority of his life.

“I started playing for North London Nationals, then went through the entire London Badger system with Mike Lumley,” he said. “Then four years at the University of Western with Lumley and now the one year here at Fanshawe.”

He always had a favourite position.

“ I love playing shortstop,” he said. “I’ve played a little bit of third base, but for the most part I have played shortstop all the way through [my baseball career].”

He had an idol athlete growing up, but maybe not what you might expect.

“It was always Curtis Joseph [the goalie for the Leafs] because I played hockey,” he said. “But for the most part, I don’t have someone in particular I modelled after for baseball.”

He is, however, a Toronto sports team loyalist.

“Jays, Leafs and Raptors,” said Lytwynec. “My favourite football team is the Oakland Raiders but we can just forget about that … I have watched a lot of crappy sports teams over the years.”

Currently, Lytwynec is studying to become a police officer in Fanshawe’s Police Foundations program, and it can be tough to juggle athletics and school.

“We’re lucky that the season is only a couple months long,” he said. “But considering I’m in second year Police Foundations it’s a little bit heavier. All the professors are really accommodating. All the coaches are accommodating, so it actually worked out pretty good.”

He says Fanshawe has been instrumental in shaping him to be the athlete he is today.

“I can’t say enough about Fanshawe and their Athletic Department,” Lytwynec said. “It might have something to do with us being a first year team but they gave us absolutely everything we asked for: equipment, great coaching staff.”

“Anything we wanted, they were 100 per cent all in.”

After receiving All-Star recognition, he credits the team and its success.

“Considering we medaled in our first year, I would say this was for sure a successful season,” he said. “Our goal at the start of the year was playoffs and really quickly that changed to, ‘lets go get a medal.’”

Lytwynec has praise for the baseball program at Fanshawe, and encourages students to play for it.

“We built a program out of people who just showed up at tryouts and put up a bronze medal. Can you imagine if we actually started recruiting?” he said. “The foundations are there. [The] athletic department is amazing they are so supportive; coaching staff is supportive, and the school is awesome. It’s an easy sell to students coming in to go to one of the better schools in Canada.”

For Luxford’s full interview with Lytwynec, visit tinyurl.com/falconspotlight.
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