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Huron's Scott preparing for collegiate diamond and gridiron PHOTO

  • Huron senior Elijah Scott has signed with Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio)to play both football and baseball. Photo by Ricky Lindsday

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Cruising to the plate for another at-bat, a relaxed Elijah Scott doesn't have a worry on his mind. His walkup song, Def Leppard's Rocket, blares over the two stationary speakers operated by his father, William, beside the third-base dugout at Huron's baseball field.

Before settling in at the plate, Scott peers out of his red Oakley RadarLock sunglasses, loosens even more, and takes a few warmup hacks. Once the pitch arrives, the senior shortstop blasts a leadoff double to right field, rounding out a four-hit day.

As his high school athletic career comes to a close, Scott has the luxury of relaxing rather than worrying about the next part of his life.

A three-sport athlete at Huron (football, basketball, and baseball), he signed with Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) this spring to play football and baseball collegiately.

"It feels relaxing because I don't have to worry about figuring out which college I want to go to and all that," Scott said. "I just get to relax, have fun, and play baseball like when I was a kid."

"It's nice to be at this point in your career, as a senior and know where you're heading next year, not have that question above your head," Huron Coach Dan Kalbfleisch added, who coached Scott in both football and baseball. "He knows where he's going. He knows what he wants to do so he's already kind of mentally preparing for that. It allows you to play free and easy to finish your senior year and that's good for him."

Scott transferred to Huron from University of Detroit Jesuit High School to play football during his junior year. Kalbfleisch was impressed with the Chief's quarterback in his only year on the gridiron at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I'm glad he came. It gave him a good chance to quarterback," Kalbfleisch said, lauding Scott's arm strength. "He wasn't going to get that opportunity where he was before. He threw for over 1,000 yards for us in only about five games. He had a concussion so he missed a couple games. He definitely has the tools to throw the ball around the yard and it shows in baseball too."

With weather wreaking havoc on spring sports, Huron's been dealt several doubleheaders this season, forcing players into pitching duties. Scott, one of those players, hadn't pitched in a high school game until this season. Last week against Grosse Ile, he tossed a complete game and held the Devils hitless through four innings.

"He's a position player, but he's worked on it," Kalbfleisch said. He's got a really nice cut fastball. He's got a good breaking ball and a nice change up that backs up on people, so he's got three quality pitches. He's a real nice high school pitcher. In college, he's a position player. He's a good hitter.

"But he's been eating up a ton of good innings for us and he's going to continue to do it too. When the stretch run comes, he's going to be real nice for us in relief because he's going to have that experience during the year."

Heidelberg University possesses strong Division-II football and baseball programs. The football team has won eight games in each of the past three seasons. The baseball team is 31-9 this season and won the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament championship in 2009 and 2010.

Even with all the athletic success in Tiffin, Scott's decision was sealed off the field.

"Well when I was looking at Heidelberg, I liked both sets of coaches," he said. "They were both cool with me. It's a good school for criminal justice which is what I want to go into. They have a great campus, good size, student-teach ratio. It's the academics with the athletics. So it's just both, not just based on how good they are in athletics."

With Heidelberg quarterback Michael Mees returning for his senior year, Scott doesn't expect to see much playing time as a freshman. He said the baseball coaching staff has talked to him about playing third base with a possible relief pitching role.

Soon, Scott won't be strolling to the batter's box with his father queuing his walkup song. He won't be snagging fly balls at shortstop or launching Derek Jeter-esque rockets to first base.

But as Scott's high-school athletics career sings its swan song, he's preparing with Kalbfleisch for what comes with being a two-sport collegiate athlete.

"He's definitely got the capability to do both, but he and I were talking about it yesterday; he knows and I know it's tough," Kalbfleisch said. "It's not going to be easy. He's ready to go out there and work really hard and hopefully have a lot of success."

Last Updated: 5/6/2014 11:40:55 PM EST