Dual-Sport Athlete Hangs Up His Stuyvesant Paddles and Cleats

Senior and former Sports Editor Krish Gupta reflects on his experience as a dual-sport high school athlete.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Name: Krish Gupta

Grade: Senior

Height: 5’ 7”

Hair Color: Black

Eye Color: Brown

Date of Birth: 7/20/2004

1. When did you start playing soccer and table tennis? How long have you been on the Stuyvesant teams for both sports?

I have been playing soccer ever since I could walk, and I first picked up the table tennis paddle during seventh grade. I’ve been on the table tennis team since freshman year, so all four years of high school. For soccer, I was only on the team my senior year.

2. Which positions do you play for soccer and table tennis, and how has your skill with both games evolved over the years?

For table tennis, I mostly played doubles, with occasional singles at times when the team needed me to fill the role. For soccer, I play left back, left wingback, and left wing. Playing doubles for the Stuyvesant table tennis team taught me how to set my teammate up for good shots, so I think my game IQ really grew over my time playing. Also, thinking a few moves ahead was crucial for my success as a doubles player, and I think that aspect of my game developed a lot for sure.

3. Do you have a moment that you have been most proud about with either team?

It would definitely be this year’s city semifinals, where we played Tottenville. It was 2-2, so the game came down to winning my match. Jack, my doubles partner, and I went up 2-0 early in our game, but we lost the next two, so it was all tied up. In our final set, we were down 9-6, so if we gave up two more points, our season would be over. But we somehow managed to come back and score five straight, winning the game and sending our team to the finals. It was a really memorable moment. All eyes were on Jack and me, and winning the match for our teammates was a great feeling.

4. What is your strategy for constantly improving yourself (specific workouts, exercises, mentality, etc.)?

I actually started coaching this year for my club soccer team, so that’s given me a new way to see the game and improved my tactical understanding of everything. For table tennis, it’s all about practicing with people who are better than you, so you can learn from their game and improve upon your own skill set.

5. What challenges did you face this season, and how have you persevered through them?

I’d say ping pong-wise, the playoffs were definitely challenging for us, as we expected to have a bit of an easier path to the finals. We played Bronx Science in the second round, but many of our players were out that day, and we had to make a couple of last minute adjustments. I had to play singles for the team, and it was a challenging moment, but we eventually came away with the win. I think also for table tennis, there are always high expectations for the Stuy team, so that put a little bit of pressure on myself and my teammates this year.

6. How have you balanced your involvement in three sports teams with schoolwork and other activities that you’re involved in?

For me, being involved in three different sports teams actually helped me be more organized and responsible. I’d always take advantage of free periods and made sure that I was efficient with my time.

7. Do you have any plans to continue either soccer or table tennis in the future or at college?

Yeah, I definitely hope to play both in some capacity. Actually, the former captain of the Stuyvesant table tennis team is playing for the University of Michigan team, where I’m headed next year, so I’ll probably take a look into that. I’m also hoping to play intramural soccer in the future.

8. What is your jersey number? What made you decide that number?

My number’s been 31 for all sports. I was randomly given the number for club soccer, but I liked it, so I stuck with it for everything. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of pro athletes who wear that number, so it’s pretty cool.

9. How do you think being a multi-sport athlete has changed you as a person during your time at Stuyvesant?

It’s allowed me to be a part of a bunch of different communities at Stuy, and meeting new people and being engaged during my time here were definitely a highlight of my high school experience. And obviously, I love sports, so it’s been really fun to play for my school and represent it.

Funniest Teammate? For table tennis, Tedd Lee. For soccer, Ben Hamel.

Favorite Soccer Team? NYCFC

Favorite Soccer Player? Lionel Messi, Jack Harrison

Favorite Stuyvesant Teacher? Mr. Garfinkel

Hobbies: Other than sports, writing, biking, and reading

Favorite Snack/Drink After Practice: Strawberry banana smoothie

Motto to Live By: Kill them with success. Bury them with a smile.