A five-game stretch in Florida has senior Brooks McCann rethinking his future.
The third baseman for the St. Charles Preparatory School baseball team put up impressive numbers as the Cardinals went 5-0 during ESPN-Disney spring training in Kissimmee, Florida.
McCann now is thinking about the possibility of extending his baseball career into college. In the five games in Florida, he batted .571 with six RBI, six runs, four walks and three doubles.
"I wasn't thinking of playing in college until a couple of weeks ago," said McCann, a three-year starter at third. "I'm looking into it because of the start I had. Last year, I was coming off (left) ankle surgery from my junior year of football and I didn't have the most confidence. This year has been different.
"I just really have a love for the game. I don't know what it is, but there's something about the game that is dear to my heart, just going out, playing the game and playing with my teammates. I could watch baseball all day every day."
The Cardinals were 6-3 overall and 0-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales on April 16.
While on spring break, McCann visited Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He talked to the school's baseball coach about being a walk-on, but said his foremost concerns are with academics.
"I want to go to medical school, and (Rollins) has a really good science program," McCann said. "That's the biggest thing for me."
Through nine games, McCann was batting .333 with six RBI, eight runs and seven walks. Coach Ray Benjamin said McCann has shown improvement each season.
"Brooks' development has been huge," Benjamin said. "A lot of kids play as sophomores and they are not sure what they are doing, but it's a luxury to have him out there. We just throw him out there now and watch him play.
"He has a very good arm and is very athletic. His offensive approach has been great at the plate, and he plays great in the field."
McCann said the warmer weather in Florida and a couple adjustments at the plate made the most difference.
"I just think I was seeing the ball well (down in Florida) and I changed a couple things in the cage like my hand position and my timing," he said. "I was able to see the ball a lot better and I think that helped out a lot.
"The (warmer) weather definitely helped. When it's cold, everything hurts (when you hit the ball). You have to wear a lot of layers and keep moving. The big thing is that you have to worry about the game and not about the weather around you."
McCann was the starting quarterback for the football team the last two seasons.
"I always played quarterback and third base, so (a strong arm) always has been one of my skills," he said. "I have been working on it every day from middle school on up. It has just gotten better. I used to pitch but I'm not this year to take some of the strain off my arm."
Benjamin said being a two-sport athlete has helped McCann lead by example.
"He just a hard-nosed kid who goes out and does his job," Benjamin said. "It's been fun to watch him develop over the last couple of years. His approach has been awesome as he goes out and gets the job done."
McCann agreed that his time in football has helped him become a team leader.
"Playing football definitely has helped in keeping people on task and in focus," he said. "In football, it's so task-oriented, and you have to stay on schedule with your plays. I think it helps in that aspect. I think it has helped me overall to be a more vocal leader. You have to make sure everyone is part of a well-oiled machine."
Track team captures title at Bexley Relays
The track and field team won the 10-team Russ Owen Bexley Relays on April 13 by finishing ahead of Worthington Christian in the final event of the meet.
Liam O'Reilly, Iain Karas, Ethan Encarnacion and Cameron DeShetler helped the Cardinals finish second (8 minutes, 29 seconds) behind Grandview (8:27.1) in the 3,200-meter relay. Worthington Christian finished third in the race to total 89 points to St. Charles' 93.
"It was pretty exciting to come down to the last race like that," coach John Leskovich said. "We had some good distance performances, we did well in the field events and we did well in the sprint relays. We had a good, well-rounded meet."
DeShetler, Karas, O'Reilly and Owen Karas were on the winning 6,400 relay (20:06.3), and the Cardinals also won three field events. Nick Teague and Luke Voegele combined for a distance of 234 feet, 4 inches to win the discus relay.
Nick Rivera and Grant Shepardson totaled 39-1 in the long-jump relay, and Rivera and Nick Schuler won the high-jump relay (11-2).
Lacrosse teams finds success with balance
The lacrosse team has used a balanced scoring attack to build a 6-3 record before playing Hilliard Darby on April 17.
The Cardinals have lost only one game to an Ohio school, falling to New Albany 10-4 on March 26. They lost their other two games during a spring-break trip to Florida, losing to Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy 8-3 on April 6 and Boca Raton (Florida) St. Andrew's 11-4 on April 7.
St. Charles entered the week having won three in a row since returning from Florida, with no player scoring more than three goals in the victories.
Patrick Browne scored twice to lead the Cardinals to a 9-6 win over Buckeye Valley on April 10 as eight players scored. Nine players found the net, with Will Morrison scoring three times, in a 14-5 win over Dublin Scioto, and the Cardinals defeated Liberty Township Lakota East 6-3 on April 14 as six players scored.
Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles baseball, lacrosse, tennis, track & field and volleyball teams:
*April 20 -- Home vs. Ready
April 21 -- At Pickerington North
April 24 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*April 25 -- Home vs. Hartley. The Cardinals lost to the Hawks 3-0 on April 13.
April 19 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
April 23 -- At Columbus Academy
April 21 -- Hilliard Davidson Doubles Classic
*April 24 -- At Watterson
TRACK & FIELD
April 20 -- Fulton Relays at Lancaster
*April 24 -- At DeSales