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Q&A with LHS Senior Baseball Players that will Play in College

Sherri Cote
Pitcher Caleb Haddon

TJ Murbach, Staff Writer

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The Wildcats are 13-3 this season and have five LHS seniors that are continuing their baseball careers beyond High School and moving on the the NCAA. I conducted interviews over email to help get to know each player’s baseball story and where they will be playing next season.

 

Caleb:

  • What position do you play? Pitcher
  • What college are you playing at next year and what level are they? DePauw University, Division 3
  • What made you choose that school? This school allows you to challenge yourself in the classroom and be a part of an athletic team.
  • How long have you been playing baseball? Since I was 8 years old.
  • Who or what got you to want to play baseball when you were young? My father started my interest in playing baseball.
  • Is there a specific major leaguer that you look up to and try to model your game after?  Clayton Kershaw
  • Who is the best coach that you have ever played under? Matt Thompson (the current varsity head coach)
  • What made you want to stick with baseball after high school and continue in college? I wanted an opportunity to continue playing.
  • Have you always planned on playing baseball in college? Yes, I have.
  • When did you realize that you were good enough to play baseball in college? After my junior year in high school.
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to play college baseball? It gives me an opportunity to continue playing the sport I love for four more years.
  • Being a senior, what added role are you taking on this season to help your team and how will this leadership position benefit your college baseball career?  I’m trying to be a leader on the pitching staff, trying to push the underclassmen to compete against each other to make our group stronger as a whole.

 

Dan:

  • What position do you play? Centerfield
  • What college are you playing at next year and what level are they? I’m playing at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, which is Division 2.
  • What made you choose that school? I chose Rockhurst because it is competitive for baseball, a solid education and the area around the school is very fun.
  • How long have you been playing baseball? I’ve been playing baseball since I was 4 years old, [when I started] playing T-ball at Butler [Lake] in Libertyville.
  • Who or what got you to want to play baseball when you were young? Baseball was a sport that I’ve loved since the day I saw the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field.
  • Is there a specific major leaguer that you look up to and try to model your game after? My favorite major leaguer would be David Ortiz because he’s a class act — one of the greatest hitters ever, and [he] hits dingers.
  • Who is the best coach that you have ever played under? The best coach I ever played under was my dad because he pushed me to be the best I could.
  • What made you want to stick with baseball after high school and continue in college? I had confidence in myself that I could be a successful student and baseball player in college.
  • Have you always planned on playing baseball in college? I was 100% confident in myself. I wanted to play college baseball after last year’s season because I was all-conference, all-county and [on] Chicago Tribune‘s first-team all-area. I had confidence I could play at the next level.
  • When did you realize that you were good enough to play baseball in college? After I hit almost .400 last season (.398) and was told by coaches I could play with hard work and determination.
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to play college baseball? The fact that I get to play baseball in college means so much because if I can play baseball in college and get a degree, then it will carry out on my life to be a hard-working [and] determined …person.
  • Being a senior, what added role are you taking on this season to help your team and how will this leadership position benefit your college baseball career? As I am one of the captains on the baseball [team], I want to carry out the role of me being a leader on the team and making our team be successful and committed to the game.

 

Brant:

  • What position do you play? Shortstop
  • What college are you playing at next year and what level are they? Hope College, Division 3
  • What made you choose that school? I think that Hope is a good fit for me because of the smaller and more interactive classes along with the opportunity to continue to play baseball as long as I can.  
  • How long have you been playing baseball? Since I was 3.
  • Who or what got you to want to play baseball when you were young? My dad got me into baseball and really gave me a passion for the game.
  • Is there a specific major leaguer that you look up to and try to model your game after?  I would say that Javy Baez would be one of my favorite players because I love the way that he plays the game.
  •  Who is the best coach that you have ever played under? Coach Shaefer
  • What made you want to stick with baseball after high school and continue in college? My dad introduced me to the game, but my friends and teammates kept me coming back year after year.
  • Have you always planned on playing baseball in college? It has been a goal of mine for as long as I [can] remember and even though I swayed away from playing baseball in college for a little bit, I realized that I would miss the game too much if I did not play in college.
  • When did you realize that you were good enough to play baseball in college? The summer after my junior year because I had a pretty good season.
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to play college baseball? It is a good opportunity for me to continue to play the game that I love, and I am very grateful for that.
  • Being a senior, what added role are you taking on this season to help your team and how will this leadership position benefit your college baseball career? Being a senior, I was named captain of the team and have had a lot more responsibility to the team and my coaches. I hope that I can learn from this experience and take it with me to college.

 

Jack:

  • What position do you play? I play catcher.
  • What college are you playing at next year and what level are they?  I am playing at the University of Pennsylvania and it is at the Division 1 level.
  • What made you choose that school? The high quality of academics, as well as the opportunity to play baseball, made the choice easy.
  • How long have you been playing baseball? I have been playing since I was 8 or 9.
  • Who or what got you to want to play baseball when you were young? My dad got me into the game of baseball.
  • Is there a specific major leaguer that you look up to and try to model your game after?  I love Matt Szczur; he plays hard every play and I try to model my game after his.
  • Who is the best coach that you have ever played under? I like all of the coaches I have had.
  • What made you want to stick with baseball after high school and continue in college? I have played it my whole life and I knew that I couldn’t even imagine my life without it.
  • Have you always planned on playing baseball in college? From about eighth grade on, I knew I wanted to play baseball in college.
  • When did you realize that you were good enough to play baseball in college? [The] summer going into my senior year is when I realized I would be able to play in college.
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to play college baseball? It means that I will have the opportunity to grow as a player and play the game I love for the next four years.
  • Being a senior, what added role are you taking on this season to help your team and how will this leadership position benefit your college baseball career? I think being a senior captain helps me take on the responsibility that I will need to take on in college.

 

Ben:

  • What position do you play? Pitcher, 1st base, and 3rd base
  • What college are you playing at next year and what level are they? DePauw University, Division III
  • What made you choose that school? I chose DePauw because of the academic appeal as well as the opportunity to play baseball. However, my favorite part about it are the people on campus.
  • How long have you been playing baseball? I have been playing baseball for 14 years.
  • Who or what got you to want to play baseball when you were young? My family, especially my dad, got me into the sport. He played at DePauw as well and really helped me improve in the sport.
  • Is there a specific major leaguer that you look up to and try to model your game after? In terms of pitchers, I always loved Greg Maddux because of his ability to control his pitches.
  • Who is the best coach that you have ever played under? My favorite coach was Adam Martinez. He was a summer team coach for me, and he really pulled the pitching potential out of me. Without him, I am not sure if I would still be playing at the next level.
  • What made you want to stick with baseball after high school and continue in college? For me, baseball is just another thing to do in college. I care about my academics and experiences in life more than I do baseball, but DePauw gives me the opportunity to do both.
  • Have you always planned on playing baseball in college? I always wanted to play baseball in college, but I was never sure if I could or would.
  • When did you realize that you were good enough to play baseball in college? The summer going into my junior year, I found my place on the mound.
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to play college baseball?  It means a lot because it would be very tough for me to go about my everyday life without having something like baseball to take the stress out of my life and have fun.
  • Being a senior, what added role are you taking on this season to help your team and how will this leadership position benefit your college baseball career? My major goal as a senior this season is to make sure my teammates and I are always having fun. Baseball is a very mental game and without the fun aspect to it, it would be very hard to play.

 

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Q&A with LHS Senior Baseball Players that will Play in College