WHS varsity baseball player, Cade Kritsch ‘19, is the Boys February Athlete of the month.
Kritsch is the starting center fielder for the varsity team and is a power bat for the team in the middle of the lineup. In the team’s 6-3 start, he has posted a .320 batting average, with six runs scored and a homerun. After starting the season 1-3, the team is rolling on a five game win streak.
“Everything is finally coming together like a puzzle,” said Kritsch. “Our pitchers are doing phenomenal, our hitters are finally executing well… it’s a great experience to be a part of a winning team.”
Recently the WHS baseball program has had immense instability at the varsity coach position, as the program has seen five different varsity coaches in the span of five years. However, the team has experienced quick success under first year head coach, Wally Barnett.
“Our whole [coaching] staff is great. They have been running effective practices and they have been great at helping us in areas we need to improve in,” said Kritsch.
Kritsch has attributed part of his success to the fact that he has been on varsity for three years, providing him with valuable experience.
“It has definitely helped… 100%. I’m used to the competitive atmosphere, and I’m well adjusted to the skill level,” said Kritsch.
Kritsch has cemented himself as one of the key players on his team, and his talent and leadership skills are well recognized by his teammates.
“He’s the clutchest player on the field. Whenever you need someone to get a clutch hit, he’ll be the one to do it,” said starting outfielder Chad McMillan ‘19. “He’s the teammate everybody wants.”
Throughout high school, Kritsch has been able to balance his baseball regimine with a grueling and difficult academic workload. In his four years at WHS, he has compiled a cumulative 4.9 GPA and is a valedictorian candidate.
“It’s impressive…Cade is able to balance getting a perfect GPA, while still maintaining to get work in on the baseball field. He always stays after practice to get some extra work in,” said McMillan.
“It’s taken a lot of late nights and dedication, but I’ve gotten through it and it has turned out great” said Kritsch. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”
One professional player that Kritsch looks up to is WHS alumnus and MLB National League MVP, Christian Yelich, who visited WHS and spoke with the baseball and softball teams in February.
“It was a reality check,” said Kritsch. “He was once in my position, so it would be pretty cool to have the opportunity to be in his position in the future”
Kritsch is committed to playing Division 3 baseball at Claremont McKenna College. He will be majoring in Chemistry at Harvey Mudd College, a top academic institution and a member of the collective Claremont Colleges.
“I’m just grateful to be able to go to one of the top academic institutions in the nation, and get to play baseball there too,” said Kritsch.
Kritsch reflected on his four years of playing baseball at WHS as some of his best and most memorable life moments.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Kritsch. “I would argue that baseball is the most social sport, so I’ve been able to interact and make meaningful connections with everyone I’ve been around.”