The Journey

The grit, hard work, and determination that led to a rewarding finish for Nikolas Clark.

Nikolas Clark winds up to pitch a fastball against Thornapple Kellogg in the 7th inning. 

Nikolas Clark winds up to pitch a fastball against Thornapple Kellogg in the 7th inning. 

Audrey Torres, Staff Writer

Nikolas Clark has been playing the game of baseball for 14 years, starting as a shortstop, and sticking with that position as he goes onto college in the fall. Throughout the entirety of his life, baseball came first. He spent countless hours in OPTC, his local training gym, and going to the field almost every day to practice his fielding and batting. On average, he says he spends about 17 hours a week on the field between games and practices when playing school ball. This season is his last at Caledonia, and when asked about his thoughts on the season, he said it “hasn’t gone as well as I’ve wanted it to, but it has been fun to play with my teammates for one last time and being able to play against my buddies on other teams as well.” The boys still have districts coming up starting on June 5th where they will take on East Kentwood in the first round. The Scots have already beaten the Falcons 3 times throughout the season, and are hoping for another one to keep moving forward towards a district championship. 

During the summer, when the school season is long over, Nik plays for USA Prime, a club out of Detroit, Michigan where athletes from all over the state come to play on this high-level team. Coaching his 18U team is Nik’s brother, Chris Clark, a former catcher out of Caledonia High School back in 2015. Clark’s team will travel all over the country this season to states as far as Tennessee and Georgia to compete in tournaments for national titles. “As sad as I am that school ball is coming to an end, I couldn’t be more excited to start the travel season with my old buddies”, said Nik. Payton Mazzola, one of Clark’s longest teammates has been by his side coming up on their 6th straight year together on the field. Mazzola will play center field with Nik in front of him playing shortstop. 

After his final year of travel ball, Nik will continue his athletic and academic career 4 hours away at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois where he will either study Information Technology or Dentistry. “I am sad to have to leave my family and friends back at home, but I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life”, said Clark. Since he is going to play baseball collegiately, Clark has a shortened summer and has to leave Michigan at the start of August to start pre-season training.