In the first of our series highlighting members of the 2020 senior class we begin with the Statesboro baseball team.
Seniors Austin Arendes, Drake Horton, Mikal Mascarello and Jackson Proctor had their season cut short due to the current coronavirus pandemic. The Blue Devils were 9-5 and had just swept Effingham County before the season was postponed, and eventually cancelled.
“Austin is a quiet competitor who really worked hard at the plate to be one of our clutch hitters this season,” said coach Jeff Kaiser. “He is an extremely dedicated teammate who always puts the well being of others ahead of his own. There will be a void to fill when Austin leaves Statesboro High School.”
“Drake tackled the role of what we would call a utility player,” Kaiser said. “He could start for us at multiple positions, but had settled in at second base when the season was halted. He worked hard at the plate, and was starting to see the ball extremely well. He was also putting in some great innings on the mound. Drake gained a mental toughness that has helped make him a better player. He has made a huge contribution to Statesboro High School during his time here.”
“Jackson has several tools that allows him to provide consistent value to the team,” Kaiser said. “He hits with Power, runs the bases extremely well, has great range in the outfield, and a very strong arm. This season he added some quality innings on the mound as well. Jackson is a very focused, mature young man who will be very successful in whatever he does.”
“Mikal is a force both offensively and defensively,” Kaiser said. “A clutch hitter who can hit for power, as well as all parts of the field to produce runs. He really turned it up on the mound this year. Just an all around player, but more importantly, an all around young man.”
A couple of the senior baseball players shared their thoughts on the season, and finding out the news that things had been cancelled.
“I love the tight relationships baseball created with my teammates,” said Horton. “I feel like being a leader is something you have to be in order to be successful in every aspect of life.
FInding out the season was over really sucked. It's not something I'm gonna pout about because though, because it's just another bump in the road.”
“I love the competitive aspect of the game, and being out their with all my brothers,” Arendes said. I tried staying in shape by running and doing whatever I could to be ready to play again.
When the season ended I was upset because it was the last time ever playing baseball again with my teammates. But I know God does everything for a reason.”
We will continue to highlights all of the other senior athletes who played spring sports, and had their seasons cut short. Pictures and quotes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.