Hail Cesar! Juneau-Douglas baseball player catches Gatorade Player of the Year
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears are golden after Saturday's 3-2 win over South Anchorage. They're the new state high school baseball champions for the first time in six years.
"Senior year, it feels amazing," said Mike Cesar, as it's been that kind of season for the catcher.
The title comes days after Cesar won Alaska's Gatorade Player of the Year.
"It was a crazy thing to wake up to, I've played on a collective team, with all of the best players in Alaska, to be picked out of that group, is a crazy honor," Cesar said.
It's extra special since he's been with many of his teammates since the age of five.
While the faces are the same, it's the baseball which has changed.
"It's different every single day, you can come in and have a really great day, you can come in and have a bad day, but, it's always going to be different," Cesar says.
One aspect which has remained consistent is Cesar's approach.
"You're not going to come in and win a game if you come in with a bad attitude, you have to come in every day ready, focused, ready to work with your team, a positive attitude," he said.
Sounding more like a major leaguer, his next stop is Pacific Lutheran University, a Division 3 program in Tacoma, Washington.
"I think they had great academics for me, I want to go into pre-med, they have a great program, they have a 70 percent acceptance into med schools, on top of that, they have a great baseball program," Cesar said.
Great is also the way Cesar's head coach describes his star player.
"What's there to say about him? He's the best kid I've ever seen. on and off the field, he's respectful, I wish there were more like him," said Chad Bentz, Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears' head coach.
Luke Mallinger broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh inning with his single. Seems fitting Cesar found himself in the middle of the action, as he scored the winning run, that gave the Crimson Bears the state title.
Mike Cesar ends his high school baseball career with a state championship, and as the top player on the diamond. Now, he'll take that championship aura with him to the next level. After all, success seems to follow Cesar around, everywhere Mike Cesar goes.
Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Dave Leval.
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