Connor Bruce: Sports Illustrated High School Athlete of the Month


Katie Kim

Bruce with principal Dr. Kevin Ahern and athletic director Mr. Andy Popper.

Chris Polo, Staff Writer

    Athletes are mostly known for their athletic abilities. They can throw a football farther than others, they have the best jumpshot in town, or they have a lot of pop in their swing. Though for Connor Bruce, his off the field achievements are what spurred him to be named April’s Sports Illustrated High School Athlete of the Month.

    Bruce did not achieve this award just because he has a lifetime .400 batting average; it was achieved with everything else. Bruce has been very proactive in assisting his community. He has been a part of the Special Olympics club at Monte Vista for four years. He also has been working for the Special Ed class in school since the seventh grade. Bruce also coaches a Challenger Division little league baseball team, which is a co-ed division of little league for kids with mental and physical challenges. Not to mention he is one of Monte VIsta’s own rally chairs.

    Sports Illustrated reached out to former San Francisco Giants pitcher and current ambassador for the Giants, Bill Laskey, to honor Connor with this award.

    “Once I found out what he did on and off the field I got to know a little bit about him through special olympics and the buddy system, it just overwhelmed me of what this kid does in high school,” said Bill Laskey. Bruce’s help in the community really touched close to home with Bill as he too was involved in the community.

    “This took me to heart because I worked with the Special Olympics as a player. He does a buddy system where he goes out and teaches baseball to kids, and that opened my eyes to another generation that’s helping,” Bill said about why he wanted to honor Bruce.

    When filling out his application for this award, Connor said he filled it out “kind of mindlessly” as he came across it on Facebook. “I was very surprised considering it’s Sports Illustrated, one of the most known sports magazine’s in the nation. They called me and I was in shock, I was surprised they picked me,” Bruce said

    Bruce was also asked if he was going to use this to bring more attention to Special Olympics.

    “Definitely I think it already has, Special Olympics shouted me out on twitter and I think it’s going to draw a lot of people to come and support because they’ll see how much fun it is.”

Connor has embodied what it means to be a student athlete and a role model. Now this is something he and us mustangs will remember.

    “It’s an honor, I just did it for fun, I didn’t really need to get recognition or anything, but to be recognized is such a big honor,” said Bruce.

    You can never give enough back to the community. Connor Bruce , the San Francisco Giants, Bill Laskey, and Sports Illustrated also know that. As Bill Laskey describes Connor.

    “A great kid… just a stellar, stellar person,” Bill said on his impression of Connor.

    Whether it’s in the squat putting down the signs behind home plate, batting in the runner from second, or helping the community and the Special Olympics, we are proud to call Connor Bruce a Mustang.