When you look at a pro player, whether it be basketball, football, or baseball, do you ever wonder what it was like to play along side him/her in high school, even grade school?
Well I would like to tell you I am one of those Pro players you sit and watch, but my athletic skill does not add up to A-Rod's. But what I can tell you is what it feels like and what you are thinking when you play around a soon-to-be famous or not quite famous athlete.
It all begins in my hometown of Whitefish Bay, WI. It is a medium sized school but has only put out one famous athlete, Craig Counsell, the 2 time world series winner. Maybe you consider Booker Stanley famous but since he is famous for the wrong things, I would like to think he DIDNT go to my school. Our sport programs are not well known, except for Track, Cross Country, and Tennis. We are more of a intellectual school, ranked in the top 15 in the midwest. However since I was a freshman, Whitefish Bay has put out a lot of semi-notable athletes. The ones I was a part of, I will share my experiences with you.
As an incoming freshman I was a little under height, and a little over weight, but football season started and whipped off all the baby fat right off. It was in my freshman year I met my first soon to be college athlete. At the time I met Nick Bellore I had no thought of "this guy is going to go pro!" All i could think of was how big he was. Nothing crossed my mind that I could potentially be playing along side a future college/pro player. He was a monster, too good for High School football. He broke his thumb in mini camp, yet he played all season to win an Honrable Mention all state. Nick signed with CMU, and started every game as a freshman, he was a top LB in the MAC conference and was a one of the leaders in tackles on the CMU football team. My opinion on him is, if he stays 4 years at CMU he could be drafted in one of the middle rounds as a solid Special teams/ILB. And as I look back at taking the field and doing drills right along side him, I feel honored to have played with him.
That same freshman year was when I met David Casey, a Notre Dame Baseball recruit. David was a bit more well known in college sports than Nick was, as he was one of the top ranked Left Handed Pitcher and hitters. Here is what Perfect Game's Jerry Ford says about David, "David Casey has monster potential with the bat and could easily come into his own and start breaking Irish power hitting records. He also has a chance to be a quality lefthanded pitcher." David broke a couple of Whitefish Bay records and at the time I thought nothing at all of his abilities. I started the year off on JV until Varsity made the playoffs and I got the call to be a backup catcher. As I showed up at the varsity practices, David would be jogging through everything, making great catches and hitting monster HR's in BP without breaking a sweat. He was ahead of the competition, and as I soon found out, he could literaly throw so hard it could break a hand. I was catching the bullpens for out pitchers when David came up...oh god...His first pitch was the hardest thing I had ever caught, it had movement on it while coming in at 90mph. To say the least, my hand will never be the same. But I think what David showed me was that some of these guys who make it to big colleges and go Pro, really start showing the potential in High School. Like while I watched the varisty games from the pine, David was ahead of everyone out there, it looked like he was playing with little kids, and thats when I realized I could be playing next to someone famous.
Well those are my experiences playing with somewhat famous college players. If you have any stories, especially funny ones, please feel free to share them with all of us!