Editor’s Note: “On The Record” is going to be a regularly published feature of the Stratford Sports Scene, allowing our followers to get to know the town’s student-athletes a little better both inside and outside of their chosen playing arenas.
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Stratford High senior John Bike is a three-sport standout for the Red Devils, including a four-year varsity player for the school’s boys basketball team. The 5-foot-7 guard also plays football, where he wound up playing quarterback in the final game of his career against Bunnell. In the spring, he plays lacrosse for the Red Devils, as well. Bike is eyeing a future in the armed services, quite likely with the Coast Guard after graduation.
Stratford Sports Scene: What’s the best thing about Stratford High School?
John Bike: Everybody just loves sports and it’s like a big family. Everybody gets around and we all know each other.
SSS: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be?
JB: That’s tough. I don’t know. I love this school. Maybe a better floor in the gym. That’s all I can think of. It’s a great school.
SSS: What teacher or coach has had the biggest impact on you in your life, so far?
JB: Probably (boys basketball) Coach (Tim) Swaller. I’ve been with him the longest and he’s taught me a lot and helped me become a man and taught me more responsibility.
SSS: What are your hopes and goals for the rest of his season?
JB: I just want to have a positive record, make states and SWCs and make a run, do some big things.
SSS: What does the Stratford-Bunnell rivalry mean to you?
JB: It’s one of the craziest games I’ll ever play in. You’ll always remember it. You’ll never forget. Talking with friends when we’re older, it’ll always be the biggest game of the year.
SSS: You got to play quarterback against Bunnell in the last game of the football season, after the team lost two other players due to injury. Had you ever played quarterback before? What was that like for you?
JB: It was just that last game. I played in Junior Pee Wees, I think. Besides that, it was my first time. It was stressful, but it was a lot of fun and we put on a better game than a lot of people thought we would. We played hard.
SSS: What would you give up if you could dunk a basketball anytime you wanted?
JB: (Laughs). There are too many things. I wouldn’t eat another day in my life if I got to dunk. Oh my god.
SSS: If you could play in one game, for any team, who would it be and who would you play against?
JB: It would definitely be basketball for the Celtics. I love them. Probably the Lakers or Warriors, going up against Lebron, one of the best players I think ever played, and then the Warriors are one of the best teams ever.
SSS: What is your earliest sports memory?
JB: Earliest? Gosh, it would probably be playing football for Pop Warner. We made it to the playoffs and it was my biggest game. A kid fumbled, and I only played defense when I was younger, and I recovered it for a touchdown. It was late game, 7-0, it was crazy.
SSS: What scares you?
JB: Losing my family. That’s one of my biggest fears.
SSS: There are a lot of problems in his world today. If you could fix just one of them, what would it be?
JB: One thing? In the world? It would probably be world hunger. There are so many starving people, and clean water.
SSS: What’s your perfect breakfast?
JB: Probably a cheese omelet, sausage sometimes, with a bacon, egg and cheese. And chocolate milk.
SSS: The ideal midnight snack?
JB: Usually, like an “Uncrustables”—peanut butter and jelly. You can never go wrong with one of those.
SSS: Your favorite home-cooked meal?
JB: Chicken cutlet, steak or meatloaf. Those are my favorites.
SSS: If you could take anybody to this year’s prom, who would it be?
JB: I’d have to say my girlfriend, yeah.
SSS: What one word best describes you?