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Patrick signs to play two sports for Wabash College

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Last week at Shenandoah High School, senior Gavin Patrick inked a letter of intent to play both baseball and football for Wabash College in Crawfordsville starting in the 2019-20 academic year. In the front row, from the left, are Jerry Gailliot, mother April Stillinger, Gavin Patrick, father Byron Patrick, and Kaycie Patrick. In the back row, from the left, are SHS Principal Greg Allen, Shenandoah Baseball Head Coach Bruce Stanley, Shenandoah Football Head Coach Jordan McCaslin and sister Gabrielle Patrick.
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Shenandoah’s Gavin Patrick leads off second base after singling in a run in a four-run fourth inning for the host Raiders during last spring’s season-opening baseball game against visiting Union County. Patrick has signed a letter of intent to play both baseball and football for Wabash College starting in the 2019-20 academic year.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

MIDDLETOWN—Most high school athletes inking an agreement with a college or university choose to play just one sport at that institution, but Shenandoah senior Gavin Patrick is taking it a step further.

Last week at SHS, Patrick inked a letter of intent to play both football and baseball at Wabash College in Crawfordsville beginning in the 2019-20 academic year.

“I’m good friends with Josh Myers and he goes there and tried to steer me toward Wabash,” Patrick said when asked why he chose Wabash to further his education. “I was interested, but then when I found out I was their No. 1 baseball recruit and what a great school it is academically, I was sold. I’m really excited about the choice I made and am proud to be a part of the brotherhood.”

Wabash is known as a top-notch liberal arts college and Patrick revealed what his major course of study might be.

“I plan to major in political science and perhaps minor in business or communications,” Patrick stated. “My career objective hasn’t been determined, but I may may get involved into something political or get involved as part of a sports team, not necessarily as a manager. I’ve been told that your major there isn’t all that important, as there are many Wabash grads who hold high positions in businesses and elsewhere who are willing to give jobs to Wabash grads. A Wabash degree carries a lot of weight.”

Turning to sports, Patrick hopes to play some at varsity his freshman season.

“In baseball, they recruited me solely as a pitcher,” Patrick said. “To get ready for that, and for my senior season of high school baseball, I’ve been taking some velocity classes and working on getting stronger with better footwork with trainer Aaron Knupp (a former athlete at Blue River Valley). I also need to develop a third pitch to add to my arsenal.”

Patrick might get a different perspective on the gridiron at Wabash that he did in high school at Shenandoah.

“I was one of the biggest guys at Shenandoah,” Patrick explained, “but there are bigger guys than I am in college. For that reason, I think Wabash plans to use me as a tight end. I get to use some of the skills I currently have, but want to get quicker and swifter so I can catch passes and elude linebackers and defensive backs.”

Its a big load for a freshman, but why shouldn’t Patrick attempt it? After all, he was named to both the C-T All-Area Baseball Team in Spring 2018 and to the C-T All-Area Football Team in Fall 2018.

As a junior last spring in baseball, Patrick led the Raider pitching staff with a 1.69 ERA and 7-2 record in 49 2/3 innings and gave up 45 hits and 29 runs (just 12 earned(, walked 19, and struck out 51 batters. He also had a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000 on 17 total chances.

Patrick also wasn’t too bad at the plate in 2018, as he batted .350 with 28 hits in 80 trips to the plate, belted one double, and drove in 16 runs while scoring 11 himself.

Patrick didn’t pay baseball his sophomore season, but got a taste of varsity action as a freshman in 2016. He made four appearances on the mound, pitched 7 1/3 innings, and gave up six hits, four runs (three earned), walked two, and struck out three batters. He made no appearances at the plate that season.

On the gridiron, Patrick played primarily on the defensive and offensive lines and did some placekicking. As a sophomore in the 2016 season, he kicked off 12 times and booted three extra points. He had no defensive statistics.

In his junior football season of 2017, Patrick kicked off 54 times for a total of 1,717 yards and booted six extra points. On defense, he made 19 tackles (three solo) and returned a fumble for a touchdown and another six points.

Last fall as a senior, Patrick was the only placekicker for Shenandoah, as he had 96 kickoffs for a total of 2,810 yards (his longest was 55 yards), and had eight touchbacks. he booted one extra point, as Borru Kishpaugh performed most of the duty of kicking points after touchdowns.

On defense in the 2018 football season, Patrick made 22 tackles (16 solo), which included seven tackles for loss and three quarterback sacks.

Listed at 6-6 and 230 pounds, Patrick might have been most effective as an offensive lineman (for whom few statistics are collected). Patrick helped open holes for Raider running backs and protected quarterback Peyton Starks from onrushing defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers.

“I think Gavin is the only student-athlete from Shenandoah who has decided to play two sports in college,” Shenandoah Baseball Head Coach Bruce Stanley said, “and he has chosen a very good school at which to do it. He gave up his senior year of basketball to work in getting stronger and better for his upcoming senior season of baseball, and had worked really hard this fall and winter. The results of that hard work in the offseason are definitely showing.”

Stanley was asked what he felt Patrick needed to do to ensure more playing time while playing for the Little Giants.

“I think Gavin needs to work on developing a consistent third pitch, which he has been doing,” Stanley remarked, “and he needs to get stronger with additional arm strength to face collegiate hitters. He already is a good fielder, and shouldn’t have too much trouble making the transition to college pitching. He also is a good hitter at the plate in high school, but may want to work on that aspect of his game to prepare to face college pitchers, too.”

Shenandoah Football Head Coach Jordan McCaslin offered his take on Patrick going to Wabash and playing two sports.

“We’re really excited for Gavin and are eager to see how he does at Wabash,” McCaslin said. “He played three years for us on varsity and improved every season. Of course his size and strength helped us on the line, but he’s pretty quick for a big guy. He intercepted a pass for us last season, and had a touchdown on that scoop and score for us his junior year that was one of our highlights. He also was our energy bus, always talking and getting guys ready to play. We’re really going to miss him.”

McCaslin was asked what he felt Patrick needed to focus on to get more playing time at Wabash.

“Gavin is a great kid,” McCaslin noted. “He just needs to show up, do what’s asked of him by his coaches, hold himself accountable both on the field and in the classroom, and just be ready for any opportunity that comes his way.”

Patrick is eager to start college, but also is eager to start his senior baseball season as a Raider.

“We lost two really good seniors last year in Cy Stanley and Dylan Frost,” Patrick added. “But everyone has been working hard toward this upcoming season in some way or another, and I think it might be a really special season. As far as college goes, I know it won’t be easy, but I want to prove to some people they were wrong about me.”