Athlete of the Week: Catching honors

Clarkston News Sports Writer
Jack Anderson closed his final season with the Clarkston Varsity Baseball team with accolades.
He received All-State Academics honor, All-Region, All-District, All-League and Clarkston Varsity Offensive MVP.
Anderson finished his senior year with 27 RBIs, four more than his junior year where he finished with 24. He had two walk-off game winning hits. The first one was against Ann Arbor Huron at University of Michigan. The second was a walk-off double against Croswell-Lexington during the Ryan Kennedy Memorial Tournament.
He led the team with 11 doubles, had a .384 batting average, had a .460 on-base percentage, and had a .495 slugging percentage.
Anderson played close to 200 innings as catcher in 33 games played. He threw out at least 11 runners attempting to steal a base.
The team finished the season early in the playoffs with a 18-15 overall record.
“I think, and every senior can reiterate this, our chemistry was outstanding,” Anderson said about his senior year. “I was best friends with every guy on the team. We were all really tight. It definitely helped with our performance. We may not have gotten the result we wanted but it was fun. Most of us have been playing together for the last four years. We know how each other performs.”

From left, Brock Henley, Jack Anderson, Seth Bacon and Ryan Barber began playing baseball together in the Clarkston Riverdawgs 9U team in 2010. Photo provided

He has been playing ball with three of his teammates, Seth Bacon, Ryan Barber and Brock Henley, for longer. They were all together in his first travel ball team with the Clarkston Riverdawgs in 2010 when all of them started on the 9U team.
“I remember trying out on my eighth birthday,” he smiled, adding playing with the ‘Dawgs he learned how to play as a team and found his role. “It is really where I found out what I wanted to do was catching. I have been catching ever since.”
He began playing baseball when he was young.
“It was so long ago,” Anderson said. “My parents were always huge in sports so since a young age they put me in T-Ball, soccer, and basketball – Little Dribbers.”
He added he stuck with baseball because he excelled in the sport and he loved catching.
“I got to be involved with every single play,” Anderson said. “It might seem boring to watch, but it was the most action packed sport I could have played.”
Anderson is currently in his second year playing for Chief Pontiac. He played for the ‘Dawgs for four years and then tried different teams including the West Oakland Wings and Michigan Blue Jays.
He graduated high school with a 4.3 grade point average and was a member of the Team RUSH 27 Robotics team.
He joined his junior year and admitted it would have been sooner but he played basketball during his freshman and sophomore years.
“As soon as I stopped doing that I joined RUSH,” he said.
He admitted balancing academics, baseball and Team RUSH was a challenge but he always found ways to do everything.
“If I ended up staying up late, I ended up staying late. Sometimes after baseball if I had a lot to do I would get it done during RUSH,” he said. “RUSH was really flexible.”
Anderson continues his baseball career at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where he plans to major in mechanical engineering and pre-medicine.
The university was appealling to him because it’s location.
“They are right next to the Cleveland Clinic, which is one of the best hospitals in the nation,” Anderson said.
“I was excited about the pre-med route. I am also studying engineering and plan to go heavy on engineering for the first couple of years.”
When he isn’t playing baseball he is preparing for college, working out and working on side projects.
“I like projects on the side like the RUSH engineering aspect. I have a 3D printer at home,” he said.
His advice for aspiring athlets is to work hard.
“If you really want it you can make it happen,” Anderson said. “It’s not as planned as everyone thinks. If you work at it you will make it there. Always keep playing, get as many games in as you can. Find a travel team with the most games because that’s how you get to the best.”