This week we’d like to give an honorable mention to Francisco “The Wolf” Aponte!
Nicknamed “The Wolf” by NYC One Wall Legend John “Rookie” Wright, Cisco has been playing Wallball (handball) since 1994 when he was just 18 years old. Initially mentored by local players Basco and Willie, another player by the name of Bucky took him around and introduced him to the world of handball, and like many of us who play the sport, he was hooked.
Being a veteran like Cisco definitely comes with it’s trials and tribulations, triumphs and accolades. Castle Hill is ultimately where he made a name for himself and joined the ranks of other top players in the sport. We discussed his lucrative run dominating the B division (Amateur) before becoming an Open (Professional) level player. Winning a few Open Doubles, 3 A/B Doubles, and being finalist in 3 Open Doubles tournaments, he’s definitely earned his bragging rights.
The flip side of the veteran coin, are war scars. No athlete is a stranger to injuries. Having had ligaments removed, a torn labrum, and knee surgery to correct a torn meniscus, it’s clear that the game has taken it’s toll on his body. But that is the yin and yang effect for any committed athlete to a sport. Any sport.
After 22 years of playing, he still finds his competitive spirit very much alive playing the top players in doubles, Singles at Castle Hill, and having a hand in bringing up the new up and coming players of today. He also contributes by officiating at several tournaments throughout the year. Last year he was named team captain for Team Bronx at our own Johnny Ray Memorial Tournament, which came out victorious as well. His son recently played at one of our Junior tournaments, it’ll be interesting to see if he develops a passion for the sport as well.
In closing, Cisco left us with a piece of advice he’d like to offer to the young new athletes of the sport today. “Finish your education, take care of your personal life first, then come back and commit to the sport. Handball will always be here.”
Thank you for all you’ve contributed and continue to contribute to the sport!