“Good,” Coach Luke Kania says.
The time is 7:15 p.m., a Tuesday. Practice ended over an hour and a half ago, yet Sixth Former Mark Quatrani is still hitting. For Quatrani, baseball has been his life since elementary school.
For Quatrani, these long nights “are a quiet escape,” he said. “I love baseball—I love waking up every day ready to give it my all.”
Quatrani thanks Coach Kania, who regularly volunteers his time to pitch to Quatrani long after practice has ended. The birds chirp, and the wind gently nestles in the trees as he heads back to his car, an ivy-green Nissan Pathfinder.
Quatrani came to Haverford as a Third Former, with the hope of someday playing college baseball. Over the years, his work ethic has paid off, as he will join Cornell’s baseball team in the fall of 2024.
Twelve hours prior, Quatrani was in the gym. Each day, he wakes up at 6 a.m., takes a bottle of water from his fridge, and heads downstairs.
In the basement, Quatrani alternates between lower-body workouts, upper-body workouts, and power-based workouts.
“I feel at home down here,” Quatrani said.
He looks at home too, as he pushes up 250 pounds on a rusty bench press, sweat beading on his forehead.
Quatrani takes a cold shower after he works out, and heads back downstairs to make a sandwich: eggs, bacon, turkey, and guacamole between two slices of whole wheat bread. Mark has the same thing for breakfast every day, along with a protein bar and organic popcorn.
Unlike most teens, Mark doesn’t drink caffeine with breakfast.
“I get eight hours of sleep a night, and by sleeping 10-6 every night, my body wakes itself up. I’m very regulated with my sleep schedule.”Mark Quatrani ’23
“I don’t need it,” Quatrani said. “I get eight hours of sleep a night, and by sleeping 10-6 every night, my body wakes itself up. I’m very regulated with my sleep schedule.”
Mark’s regimented routine has paid dividends this year, as he was named MVP of the Inter-Ac in May.
On the weekends, the schedule remains the same. While he spends time with friends, he never drinks alcohol, nor does he ingest nicotine or CBD.
“While there’s definitely some temptation to live like a normal high schooler,” Quatrani says, “I understand that my long-term goals outweigh the short-term pleasure I would get from stuff like that.”
At the beginning of his time at Haverford, Quatrani struggled to find himself. As a slightly overweight fourteen-year-old, he decided he wanted a change.
“Motivation to lose weight started in November of my freshman year,” Quatrani said. “Our first football lift I wasn’t nearly as strong as I thought I should’ve been. Some people that weighed less than me lifted heavier than I did, and from then on, I knew I wanted to get more in shape. That’s when I started taking my diet seriously.”
At lunch, Quatrani sits down with four fish filets and a bottle of water. After scarfing them down, he smiles and knocks twice on the red laminate table top. “65 grams of protein,” he says.
Beside him, other students eat blackjack chicken and french fries, dipping them in ketchup.
Quatrani gets up and then returns to the lunch table, a small serving of Froot Loops in hand.
“I try not to get too crazy,” Quatrani said. “I diet flexibly. These, for example, have 8 grams of added sugar. I stay below 25 grams of added sugar each day, and these are a nice treat for me to have. Nothing too bad in here.”
Quatrani’s game day routine is always the same.
“I spend twenty minutes visualizing success before each game.”Mark Quatrani ’23
“I spend twenty minutes visualizing success before each game,” Quatrani said. “I feel that it locks me in and gets my mind ready.”
After putting himself in an optimal mental state, Quatrani moves on to the physical warm-up. In his maroon Haverford hoodie, with the strings taut, he uses a band to warm up his legs in the dugout, before heading over to centerfield to go through a team warmup.
Quatrani then takes some soft pitches from Coach Kania, who slowly nods whenever he hears the resounding ping. While he is hitting, Jac Campbell, the starting pitcher for the day, walks across the turf to talk.
“I always talk to my pitcher,” Quatrani said. “It’s important that we’re on the same page. I’ll also have a talk with my hitting coach in order to identify weaknesses in the other team’s pitcher.”
Quatrani’s focus before each game has paid dividends for him, as he boasts an otherworldly .569 batting average, in addition to being a valuable leader on the Fords’ baseball team.
“I like working hard. I’m not anything special.”Mark Quatrani ’23
In today’s day and age, where it often seems like the norm to find loopholes in the system and do the bare minimum, Quatrani’s work ethic is a refreshing change of pace. For an eighteen-year-old, finding joy in the process of working towards a goal is a remarkably mature outlook.
“I just… like my life,” Quatrani said with a grin. “I like working hard. I’m not anything special.”