By PAUL HINES
---- — MT. VERNON – Sawyer Harrison has always been a passionate competitor.
“I feel like I've lived that role, and it is still continuing through high school,” Harrison said. “I just go into every game with the mindset that I'm going to do my best.
“When it's game time, it's game time.”
Harrison's sports career will continue at the collegiate level. He recently signed with Illinois College where he will play baseball.
“The coaching staff here at Mt. Vernon have done a great job forming me and all the other guys on the team that are going on to play,” Harrison said.
He's one of the emotional leaders for the Rams baseball team that finds themselves playing in today's sectional final against Triad.
“It feels good to know that we're one of the few teams in the area still playing and knowing we have a chance to set some school history we're on a mission,” Harrison said. “And we're just ready to finish the mission that we're on right now.”
Harrison has spent most of his senior season starting at third base and batting in the lower portion of the team's lineup. He is batting .241 this season but is among the team leaders in walks along with on-base percentage.
“There's a lot of ways that he can get on base or that he helps our ballclub at the plate,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “He's not afraid to take one in the back. He's not afraid to go deep in counts to draw a walk.”
Harrison was able to draw a walk to lead off the third inning of Mt. Vernon's sectional semifinal win against Effingham. Harrison's free pass helped lead to the Rams opening run of the game.
The Rams third baseman has also turned in a solid defensive year.
“He's been very good this year, and anybody that's watched us consistently this year I'm sure would agree he's been very solid.”
Harrison is one of six Mt. Vernon baseball players who will continue their sports careers in college.
“We're always happy for the players and parents when they get this opportunity,” Holloway said. “Sawyer is a player who has improved every year in our program but especially from his junior to senior year.”