COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WYTV) – The Columbiana baseball team was set to host their home opener this week. Senior Chase Franken leads the charge for the Clippers as their fearless leader at shortstop and pitcher.
“I’m very competitive, competitive is my middle name,” said Franken.
Chase packs a punch in his 5-foot-9 frame. The sure-hitting Clipper boasts a career .455 average, not to mention, his fastball tops out at 86 MPH.
“I’m determined, speedy, not afraid to put my nose in the dirt,” he said. “I can hit the ball out and I do have that power even though I might not be the biggest person.”
Through three seasons, Franken already owns five school records in baseball and on the verge of breaking seven more this season. He’s just one hit away from tying the all-time hits record, as his senior season remains on hold.
“I hold the team more valuable than myself and wins more valuable than records,” said Franken. “But this senior year has been tough and hopefully I do get to break even a minimal amount of those records. But you thank God for the little things in times like these.”
Franken also went down as a record-breaking wide receiver for the Clippers. He was the all-time career leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. And this was after never playing the position until the 9th grade. He was previously a quarterback.
“When Coach [Bob] Spaite first put me at wide receiver, I was out in my yard freshman year catching passes, doing drills with my hands and I never thought I could catch that well with my hands, but it just naturally came to me.”
Off the field, Chase carries a 3.8 GPA and is heading to play baseball on scholarship at YSU next season.
“I value being a student just as much as I do being an athlete and a lot of athletes kind of take that for granted. I believe that hard work is very important in anything you do.”