Poth is in his final season as a Jayhawk
Shawn Poth, a senior at Jeannette High School, has been an athlete of the week several times in both of his sports — baseball and soccer — and now he's playing in the final games of his varsity career as a Jayhawk.
Poth, who plays third base, likes his position on the team and has been there since last season.
“We call it the hot corner,” Poth said. “The fastest and hardest balls come your way. You've got to be quick with ground balls and line drives. You have to be fast.”
So far this year, Poth said he's done well fielding the ball but he needs to improve his hitting skills.
Spring sports seasons in this area typically have a rough time getting started. In the past few years, Jeannette players have had to wait for snow to melt, for the weather to warm up and, this year, they've been waiting on the rain to stop. The snow, hasn't stopped them so far.
“We've played two games in the snow,” said Poth. “The first game, it snowed the whole time, you could barely see the ball. It's much harder to play baseball in the cold.”
Poth said the team is also suffering from frequently canceled and delayed games interrupting any chance the Jayhawks have of getting into a rhythm. Some games have been canceled not because of current weather but because the field is still drying out from the day before. It can be frustrating for the players.
“Baseball is very mental,” said Poth. “You have to know the game in order to play, to know what your next move is.”
Head coach Marcus Clarkson is the calm one of the two, Poth said with a laugh referring to assistant coach Rich Ault as the “less calm one.”
“(Clarkson) is trying his best with all of the games rescheduled and with no field to practice on,” said Poth. “We've just been in the outfield and batting cages. It's like half a practice.”
This year's team is made up of mostly younger players, he said, and so it's incumbent upon the upperclassmen to help them with the learning process.
There is much to acclimate to when you're coming into a varsity sport for the first time.
“We're getting them out of their shells. They're doing pretty good,” he said.
“It feels rough, but we've had a lot of close games decided by the umps. I feel we can do very well.
“We still have a lot of games to get in.”
After graduation, Poth intends to continue working at Chick-Fil-A and will enter Westmoreland County Community College in the fall. He plans to study architectural drafting and design.
He wants to design the world's largest building one day and he likes construction and being more hands-on.
The idea of getting to split his time between an office designing projects and on the job site overseeing the work appeals to him.
“I'll like getting to see it get made,” he said.
It hasn't really hit him yet that his senior year is drawing to a close, but he's ready for the next step.
“Two months left, it will be great,” he said.
Poth is the son of Christine and Shawn Poth Sr. and is the brother of Nicole, Courtney, Rachel and Hannah Poth.
“I want to thank my family for supporting me in everything I do,” he said.
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5154.