During the fall season, the star football athletes of Helix are often the most popular sport topic. However, this fall season included additional pre-season baseball attention, at least for three Varsity baseball players.
Wednesday, November 8 was the National Letter of Intent, often seen as NLI, for sports other than football, which includes basketball, field hockey, baseball, and many other sports. Last year, Carissa Ramirez committed to playing field hockey on the east coast, while Connor Konishi and Matthew Richardson both signed on to play baseball at 4-year universities.
This year, three baseball players are following in their former teammates’ footsteps of committing to play for universities; Keaton Chase signing with University of Oregon, Brandon Peterson signing with San Jose State University, and Austin Kretzschmar signing with Stanford University.
Varsity Baseball head coach, Coach Cole Holland explained Helix baseball player’s committing to play for universities is becoming a “regular thing now.”.
“Our program kind of speaks for itself,” Holland claimed, further explaining,” especially when it comes to getting kids ready for college and onto the next [baseball] level.”
Holland notes that not only did Konishi and Richardson sign on for college baseball, but also three other players, resulting in a total of five of his players signing to play college baseball just last year.
Chase, who had other baseball offers including one from UC Santa Barbara, claimed his commitment to University of Oregon by his appreciation for the coaching staff.
“Coach Horton up there is one of the best coaches I’ve ever met and talked to,”Chase stated.
Like Chase, both Peterson and Kretzschmar agreed their overall decision on which school to sign with was made by how well they connected with their respective university’s coaching staff.
“I enjoyed how the program was rebuilding and they have a new coaching staff,” Peterson recalled, claiming he “wanted to be a part of something new.”
Chase, Peterson, and Kretzschmar are signing to not only play baseball for their universities, but more importantly, signing on as a student-athlete, where the term “student” comes before “athlete.”
Although Chase is currently undecided on his major, Kretzschmar plans on studying for a major “related to science or possibly economics.”
As students are not required to enter college with a major, the players still have time to decide on their focus of study.
For now, all three players have one specific focus in mind; baseball. Not only is their winter season approaching, but by this time next year, no longer will they be playing as Helix Highlanders, but as an Oregon Duck, a San Jose Spartan, and a Stanford Tree.