Evart pitcher ready to switch to quarterback

Danny Witbeck fires a pitch to the plate for Evart last season. (Herald Review file photo)

Danny Witbeck fires a pitch to the plate for Evart last season. (Herald Review file photo)

EVART - Football, then baseball.

Or has it been baseball, then football?

Danny Witbeck will be quarterback this fall for Evart's football team, which hopes to start its practices on Aug. 10.

But it's been a relatively busy summer for Witbeck, who prefers it this way. He's a college baseball prospect who has been getting in as much summer work as possible.

He's been playing with a team out of Mount Pleasant and was looking into the possibility of playing for the Manistee Saints traveling team. Witbeck has also had some informal practices with the Evart baseball team.

"We're hopeful of getting some stuff in," he said. "It's a matter of when we'll get them in."

Witbeck was a key player for the Wildcats in 2019 when the baseball squad won 30 games and claimed Highland Conference and regional titles.

Witbeck was expected to be a key player on the mound for the Wildcats again this season, which was canceled in April because of the COVID crisis.

"I knew we had a special season coming," he said. "It was a heartbreak."

Witbeck was also hoping to establish his college credentials.

"I still think if we get some baseball in the summer, the recruiting process can still go on," Witbeck said recently. "I've had a few contacts (from colleges) asking for a summer-fall schedule."

Witbeck figured during the spring he was set to make improvements in various areas.

"I wanted to add more velocity and have more control on all my pitches, not just my fastball," Witbeck said, adding he's been looking to improve on his hitting, which has usually been in the mid-.300s.

"You can't let an at-bat phase you," he said. "If you strike out you have to go the next at-bat not overthinking it."

Looking away ahead to the 2021 baseball season when he's a senior, "I think we'll be a good team," Witbeck said. "We'll lose some key pieces but we have some younger people coming up."

Witbeck said here have been three-a-day a week football workouts while still following safety procedures. When he gets a chance, he's been throwing the ball around.

"We're all hoping we have a fall season," he said. "Only time will tell."