Clarkson leads the Wolves

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Clarkson rounds third, and looks to score a run.

Michael Hebb, Sports Editor

Chase Clarkson, a senior at Michigan City High School, is in his now fourth and final year on the baseball team, and he looks forward to a successful season. This is Chase’s third year playing on Varsity, so he brings good experience to a relatively young group.

In past years, Chase played multiple positions, including pitcher, second base, and shortstop. However, Clarkson was told sometime in the preseason that he would not be pitching, so he is now strictly a shortstop.  He said about the change, “I put in a lot of work in past seasons to become a better pitcher, so it kind of sucks that I am not going to pitch this year, but I will do whatever the team needs me to do.”

Though he will not be pitching, Clarkson is still a soft-handed infielder and clutch hitter. His goals for the season reflect that, as he wants to average at least .400 and have a fielding percentage over .900. Sophomore Jacob Plisky said, “I think he can do that because he works hard at practice, stays positive, and always keeps a calm head.  He has played for so long it seems like second nature to him.”

Chase has been playing baseball competitively for 14 years, so he has been through many ups and downs. One of his most memorable moments was last year in the last regular season game, when he cranked the baseball into left field and out of the park, for his first ever homerun.

Clarkson also likes to remember beating LaPorte his sophomore and junior year. “Being our biggest rivals, it was great to just sweep them in both season series. I cannot wait to face them again this year.”

Perhaps the most important goal for Chase this year is to be the best leader he can be. Junior Ryan Smith said, “I think he is a good leader and he knows how to keep everyone’s heads up. Chase is a good leader because he cheers on everyone all the time and pushes everyone to do their best.” Obviously, Clarkson is already on track to fulfill that goal, as his teammates look to him for direction.

Clarkson’s desire to be a great leader may come from him watching his favorite Major League Baseball player, Brandon Crawford, play for the San Francisco Giants. Crawford is a shortstop, just like Chase, and is also a two-time World Series champion. “The dude has got a sick flow,” said Clarkson about Crawford.

Being a team player is most important when it comes to a sport like baseball. Chase is fully aware of this, and he has utmost confidence in his teammates and coaches. His expectation for the team this year is to get at least 20 wins on the season. In order to do this, the Wolves would have to beat a handful of conference games, and the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) is one of the toughest conferences in the state. Clearly, he believes that this year’s team is special, and that the team can get through a tough schedule.

Joshua Malone is in his first year coaching Varsity, replacing long time coach David Ortiz. “I think me and my teammates will adapt fine to the coaching change, as long as we stick together,” Chase said. Though there is a new head coach, the pitching coach, Coach Bevitori, is still there.

Chase is also a great definition of the term “student-athlete”. He is in National Honor Society, has a 3.7 GPA, and is enrolled in Advanced Placement classes. Clarkson has also been involved in various clubs such as the Frisbee club, steering committee, and student council. Being able to balance these and lead the baseball team to victories is a difficult task, but Clarkson is the man to do it.

Though a highly successful student, he is still undecided on which college he wants to attend. Wabash College, University of Southern Indiana, and Elmhurst College are all schools he is interested in attending. While at college, he plans on playing baseball and majoring in either economics or pre-law.

Wherever Clarkson goes, he is sure to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Being a highly skilled athlete and busy worker, he will assuredly prove to be a successful Michigan City graduate in college.

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