Blake Sanders exemplifies hustle

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 3, 2004

Making the adjustment from middle school to high school is not an easy one, but for freshman Blake Sanders it is a challenge that he has taken on with full force and has succeeded at.

Not only does Sanders face the increased expectations in the classroom, but he also leaves every afternoon to face the increased expectations on the baseball field.

"School has definitely changed. There is a lot more freedom at the high school. Baseball has also changed. The intensity level has definitely grown. There is more of a challenge so you have to be more dedicated," Sanders said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As demands have increased, though, Sanders performance has as well.

"He is our leading hitter. But he is also a good student. He works very hard in the classroom," CHHS freshman head coach Carrol Connell said.

But Sanders enjoys the game and that makes the hard work a little easier.

"I've been playing since I was really little. Baseball has just always been there for me and a lot of people think it is a boring game to watch but it is definitely a lot of fun to play," Sanders said.

It is that fun that he has found in the game that drives him to do everything he can to make it fun for his teammates.

"I just try to keep the team up when we're losing and say positive things instead of focusing on the negative," Sanders said.

"He's a catcher so he takes a beating game in and game out but he still stays positive and does everything that you could ask of a team leader," Connell said.

"This year has really taught me that I have to let some things slide because you can't have everything your way so you just have to enjoy things as they come," Sanders said.

In addition to his dedication to his studies and his sport, Sanders has also devoted himself to his faith.

"Most of my teammates probably don't know that I have a quiet time every morning when I wake up, but that is something that is very important to me," Sanders said.

"Everybody on the team gets along with him. He has a good work ethic, good values and he is a strong Christian," Connell said.

Right now, though, Sanders is just taking everything in stride. He hopes to play college ball and the pros are definitely an interest, but right now he is content to do his best for the Trojans, watching Mike Piazza in his free time, wishfully thinking.