Hunter Clanin has been taking full advantage of an opportunity that eluded his father more than two decades ago.
A junior for the Ready High School baseball team who has been a starter since he was a freshman, Clanin has his eye on playing collegiately.
His father, Sam, was expecting to play for Columbus State in the late 1980s until a broken ankle ended his career.
Coincidentally, Columbus State's coach at the time, Harry Caruso, is in his fifth season as Ready's coach.
Caruso has enjoyed having the opportunity to coach the younger Clanin.
"Hunter's dad played for me in the 1980s when I was at Columbus State," Caruso said. "He's got a real good chance to play at the next level."
Clanin, who is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, has baseball in his roots.
His grandfather, Mickey Pless, was a pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds' organization from 1967-68 and 1971-72.
Clanin has received interest from Division III schools such as Otterbein University. He also is in the process of putting together a highlight tape that he hopes to send to schools including Kentucky and West Virginia.
Clanin plans in June to attend the Crossroads Baseball Series at Wright State, which has been a recruiting platform since being established in 2008.
He also plans to visit West Virginia in June and hopes to visit schools such as Coastal Carolina during the summer.
"Baseball's been my love since I was born," he said. "(My dad) never really got the chance to play in college because in the preseason in one of the practices, he slid into a (base) and broke his ankle and wasn't able to play."
With Clanin usually batting third or near the top of the lineup behind Ross Etgen (INF/P) and Sean Mogan (OF), the Silver Knights were 5-4 overall and 0-1 in the CCL before playing Hartley on April 19. Etgen has committed to play for Walsh University.
Clanin is expected to be a key pitcher this season along with senior Mitch McNabb. He also has seen action at first base in addition to catching.
Both Clanin and Caruso acknowledge that Caruso has a much different coaching temperament than when Caruso coached Clanin's father.
"My dad has talked about how much of a different coach (Caruso) is now compared to how he was then," Clanin said. "He was a coach who had to have control over everything, but now he's more of a laid-back coach."
"You mature a little bit as you get older and pick your battles a little more," said Caruso, who also has coached at DeSales and Westland. "A lot of coaches want to do everything, and you can't. When you have willing kids that want to play baseball and have the ability, the biggest thing is (encouraging) that ability."
Boys tennis team again led by seniors
A year after having eight seniors who were key players, the boys tennis team again has a senior-laden lineup, albeit one without much experience.
Senior Nick Berner is playing first singles, with classmates Scott Knapke and Spencer Heselden at second and third singles, respectively.
Seniors Kris Clark and Michael Pozz make up one doubles team and seniors Tyler Eggers and Nick Ackinson comprise the other. Seniors Isaiah Sylvia and Jose Polanco and sophomores Matt Dado and Ryan McFarland are others looking to contribute.
"It's a fairly young squad as far as experience goes," sixth-year coach Jen Donaldson said. "With a lot of them, this is their first year playing tennis, but they're very willing to learn and very dedicated."
Ready opened with a 4-1 win over Franklin Heights on April 8, lost to Watterson 5-0 in its CCL opener April 9 and lost to Jonathan Alder 5-0 on April 10 before beating Westland 4-1 on April 15. The Silver Knights' matches against West Jefferson on April 11 and Hartley on April 16 were postponed.
Last season, Ready went 8-6 overall and 1-3 in the CCL to finish behind DeSales (4-0), St. Charles (3-1) and Watterson (2-2) and ahead of Hartley (0-4).
All seven of Ready's postseason competitors last season graduated.
Softball team losing close games
The softball team lost its first four games -- three by one run -- before splitting two games April 13, losing to Central Crossing 8-3 and defeating Liberty Union 9-3.
Ready began CCL play April 15 with a 7-3 loss to Hartley.
Ready opened with back-to-back 7-6 setbacks to Olentangy Liberty (April 3) and Fairbanks (April 4) and fell 8-7 to Jonathan Alder on April 8.
Against Jonathan Alder, the Silver Knights trailed 8-1 after three innings but scored two runs in the fifth and four in the sixth.