This past season, Wolcott Tech’s Tyler Kackowski surpassed 1,000 career kills plateau on the volleyball court, which is a career milestone for any player and even more special for someone who picked up the sport as a freshman.
“My gym teacher (Carl Palazzotto) kept nagging me to play,” Kackowski laughed. “So I did and after two practices, I just loved it, I fell in love with it.”
Kackowski, a senior, was the only returning player from the Wildcats team that reached the Class M semifinals and he stepped up as the leader of the team being named captain.
On the court the Wildcats as a whole were very successful again the regular season, before losing a close match to Wethersfield in the first round, 3-2. Still Kackowski shined with 319 kills, 305 digs, 43 aces, 32 assists and 30 blocks.
“It was great,” said Kackowski of this past season and being a team leader. “I just tried to get them to understand the game better; it’s easier to pick up the game that way.”
One of the biggest difference was the loss of Luke Pepper, the teams setter, who replaced by Matt Dell’Agnese.
“It’s always different but Matt stepped up big time for us,” Kackowski said.
During his sophomore year a friend of Kackowski got him to try-out for the Mizuno East Volleyball Club, where he was able to keep growing as a player, outside of the Wildcats.
“It was very overwhelming,” he said. “The coaches were excellent and always wanted you to learn more.”
He also credits the success of his high school career to just playing the game, any chance he could.
“Consistently playing, whether it’s on a team, in the backyard,” he said. “I never stop playing.”
Kackowski will not be continuing his volleyball career in college and will instead enter the work force, graduating from Wolcott Tech as a manufacturing student.