Baseball Senior Spotlight
Lancer baseball was preparing for league when the wind was taken out of their sails. With a grueling pre-season schedule, the Lancers were energized for league play that was slated to begin March 31st. The team is led by Coach Mark Fitzgerald, a Grace Brethren alumni himself, as well as eight senior athletes: Ethan Chuck, Hunter Scribner, Andrew Sharp, Dante Zamudio, JJ Fraizer, Joshua Swales, Carson Ohl, and Andrew Sutherland.
Outfielder Ethan Chuck plans on attending Pepperdine University in the fall to begin his path towards a MBA, with his long-term plan to work in business operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His favorite teacher on campus is Mr. Simms who has helped him on the road to becoming a follower of God. Mr. Simms has truly led by example when it comes to living a life that glorifies God. Ethan’s favorite memory from his athletic career at Grace Brethren was being a varsity starter in both football and baseball his sophomore year.
Third baseman Hunter Scribner is set to attend a trade school in Van Nuys in the plans to become a jet mechanic. Hunter credits his family as being the main support and inspiration for him on and off the field. If given the opportunity to have dinner with one famous person, he would choose Howard Hughes because he would want to talk to him about his ideas and dreams for aircrafts. As a student, his favorite teacher is Mr. Carter. On the field, his favorite memory was hitting a homerun his sophomore year against Malibu’s ace pitcher. Tens years from now, Hunter envisions himself working for a corporate company’s aviation department.
Shortstop Dante Zamudio is committed to playing baseball at the University of Nevada Reno in the fall. Science has always been his favorite subject in school, due to the inspiration from his grandfather. Alongside his father, Coach Virgil Hill has been an incredible inspiration to him on and off the field. Dante credits Coach Hill with teaching him that hard work is done all day, everyday, both on and off the field in order to get results. Dante credits his biggest accomplishment so far as his growth in adversity and diversity by changing schools, meeting new people, and starting on new teams. A long-term goal for Dante is to have a successful career and a loving family.
Catcher Andrew Sharp is committed to playing baseball at Cal State Bakersfield beginning in the fall where he plans on working towards goals of making it professionally or earning a degree in mathematics to become a math teacher. As a young athlete, Andrew was inspired by his parents. “I was really inspired by my parents because they both all worked so hard not only in the sport they both played when they were in high school and college. Also in life, I have never seen people more dedicated or hard-working.” Additionally, he credits his sister as being a huge influence in his life by her examples in perseverance, intentionality and commitment to her faith. Given the opportunity to overcome time, Andrew would love to have dinner with Ted Williams and simply talk baseball.
Infielder and pitcher Carson Ohl plans on extending his athletic career by committing to play baseball next season at Grand Canyon University, joining his brother Pierson Ohl. His inspiration as a young athlete is rooted in Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Off the field, his inspiration comes from Austin Fry because he taught him what it truly looks like to live like Christ in everything. Academically, mathematics is Carson’s favorite subject, and his favorite teacher award goes to Mrs. Pendleton. One historical figure he’d like to have a meal with is the Apostle Paul, giving the reason, “I would want to know what mindset he had everyday to keep being faithful.” Ten years from now, if he’s not playing professional baseball, Carson wants to be a police officer.
Another Lancer continuing his athletic career collegiately is Andrew Sutherland who is committed to playing next year at George Fox University with plans to major in business administration. History has been his overall favorite subject in school, and Mr. Simms has been his favorite teacher. Hitting a walk-off hit earlier this season was Andrew’s favorite athletic memory from his time here at Grace Brethren. Andrew’s Grandpa Rod had the greatest influence in his life due to, “His wisdom that he would always be willing to share and he is the type of man which I model myself to be. One who is humble but strong.” When his career in baseball ends, Andrew plans on continuing his education to earn a master’s degree and enter into the business world.
JJ Fraizer was a multi-sport athlete, playing both baseball and basketball for Grace Brethren. After high school, JJ plans on beginning his pre-med journey with dreams of becoming a doctor. Like many of his teammates, Mr. Simms has been his favorite teacher. During his time at Grace Brethren, JJ has excelled in both chemistry and math courses. His sisters have been influential in his life, helping him make good decisions and supporting him. Abner Doubleday, the creator of baseball, would be his dream dinner guest in order to get a greater understanding of how the game he loves was created.
Pitcher Josh Swales has his sights set on playing baseball either being drafted out of high school or attending the University of Arizona. Josh has set himself up as one of the top pitchers in the state and major league scouts have taken notice; they were frequently spotted this season at our games. Josh credits his family as having inspiration in his life. “My dad definitely inspired me to work hard. He told me when I was young that if I work hard and achieve goals, I can be the best baseball player. I also was inspired by my sisters because they always pushed me and kept me positive in tough situations in baseball, or in school.” Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers standout pitcher influenced Josh in many ways, including his faith in Christ, dominating the game and helping those in need overseas. His favorite memory from his time at Grace Brethren was the team bonding moments, mosh pits in the clubhouse after wins and being able to set positive examples for those on the team. Josh’s greatest accomplishment is where he is currently sitting, potentially getting drafted in the coming weeks and also being committed to the University of Arizona.
Despite this season coming to an end much earlier than any one planned, Grace Brethren is proud of these young men and their hard work and dedication on and off of the field. Best of luck to each of you as you continue on in your education and athletic careers.
“Grace Brethren taught me that being uncomfortable is a healthy place for growth - a lesson that I would tap into almost every day at the Air Force Academy.“
Dijon credits small class sizes and personalized one on one coaching styles for his success.
Class of 2020 looks forward to getting back on track, twenty-four athletes will compete in college.