OTHS Senior Chase Hackstadt is headed into his fourth Varsity Baseball season, and is looking forward to his senior year as a catcher. Head Coach Jason Portz has no doubt about Hackstadt’s abilities on and off the field.
“Chase has been a four year varsity player for us. This says a lot about the type of player and person he is. We don’t get many kids who come through our program and are able to become a varsity player as a freshman. This is my 21st year coaching baseball and I would rank Chase at the top of the list with a few others when it comes to being a representative of our program and community. Chase is an outstanding student, has incredible work ethic and is simply one of the finest people I have had come through our program. The baseball ability takes care of itself. Chase has worked really hard to become a quality player, but the intangibles and leadership skills that he possess is what makes him the person that he is to our program,” said Portz.
“He handles our pitchers extremely well, he’s like another coach on the field. He understands what coaches are thinking by the way we call pitches and handle hitters, he’s able to help in practice and make our younger kids better. He’s going to have a great year, no matter what his numbers end up as. He’s going to lead on the field and help improve our program. That’s what really matters,” Portz continued.
The 6’3 Hackstadt began playing in first grade, and he said he remembers going out on the field with his older brother and his dad. He began playing in school while at Fulton Junior High. He chose to be a catcher for many reasons.
“I love it because there’s so much you control back there. You see the whole field, you get to make calls and everything. You’re really in every play so there’s never an off moment. You get a lot of chances to succeed, too,” said Hackstadt.
“He caught 40 games last year, is an outstanding blocker and receiver and a 2.1 thrower,” Portz said.
Off the field, Hackstadt is an ace in the classroom and has earned a full academic scholarship to Missouri State University, and he does not plan to play college ball.
Looking ahead at his senior year behind the plate, Hackstadt said “I’m pretty confident. I’ve worked pretty hard, and so have the rest of these guys. We killed it in the off season, and I’m really looking forward to a successful year.”