Evart three-sport athlete set for busy summer slate


EVART —  Nolan VanOrder has a full schedule for the Evart Wildcats this summer.

VanOrder is among the key returning starters to an Evart team that landed under .500 during the spring season, but got a big district semifinal win over Central Montcalm.

“I thought we played pretty good,” he said. “I was expecting a little bit more. Overall, I thought we did pretty decent.”

VanOrder indicated the Wildcats played their “best baseball” in the 4-0 victory over Central Montcalm.

“Andrew Race had 18 strikeouts in that game,” VanOrder said. “That was one of the highlights of the season.”

It was VanOrder’s junior year.

“I could have hit the ball a little bit better,” he said. “I got on base pretty well. I think I led the team in on-base percentage. My center field (defense) was pretty good this year. I didn’t make as many plays as I usually do.”

Playing summer baseball “is going to help us a lot,” VanOrder said.

Basketball, football and weight-lifting will also be on his agenda for a challenging summer schedule.

“It’s not that hard to keep track of them,” VanOrder said. “The coaches kind of mingle and try to make sure the schedules aren’t going to overlap.”

VanOrder has some specific goals to work on for baseball as he looks ahead to 2015.

“I think coach wants me to be a leadoff batter next year,” he said. “I’d like to step up my play a little bit. I usually bat at the bottom of the order or middle of the order.” 

If he is leadoff batter, VanOrder said it will put more pressure on him to get on base each time.