ROCKINGHAM — Luke Preslar, a junor on the Richmond Senior High School baseball team, has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week.
A left-handed pitcher, Preslar was a part of the Raiders’ 11-game winning streak that spanned for nearly a month. He was responsible for helping get the final two wins during that stretch, toeing the rubber in both games of a doubleheader at Seventy-First High School. This is his first career selection.
Birthday: Feb. 2, 2002
Spring Sport: Baseball
Years on Varsity: 1 Year
Height & Weight: 5-11, 170 pounds
Experience: 12 Years
“ON THE HILL” WITH LUKE PRESLAR
RSHS Academics: Preslar is one of just a handful of juniors on this spring’s baseball team, and is a Honors student at Richmond. Enrolled in the Health Science cluster, this semester he’s taking Health Science I Honors with Ms. Elizabeth McDougald, Chemistry Honors with Garrett Boyd and Weight Training Honors with Coach Brad Denson.
During fourth block, Preslar is taking Public Speaking 231 and Spanish 111 at Richmond Community College.
“Health Science is my favorite class because I’m trying to go into the pharmacy field,” Preslar explained. “Ms. McDougald is a fun teacher, I understand her and she’s good at what she does. That class is one of my higher grades.”
Preslar currently has a 4.1 GPA, made the A Honor Roll during the third nine weeks and is a general member of the National Beta Club.
Future Plans: Set to graduate in the spring of 2020, Preslar has several goals he’d like to achieve both in the classroom and on the diamond.
“I’d like to finish out and graduate, maintain good grades and get into National Honor Society,” he said. “I want to end this year and my senior year on good note with baseball.
“It would be nice to hit a home run,” he added. “We definitely want to win conference this year and next year. I’m going to work hard over the summer so I can be a part of next year’s starting rotation.”
Preslar’s interest in pharmacy started last summer when he volunteered at FirstHealth and did pharmacy related work. His sister, Ashton Preslar, also recently graduated with a degree in the field.
Currently, Preslar is considering the University of South Carolina, UNC Wilmington and Wingate University. He’s also hoping to play collegiate baseball.
Athlete of the Week Stats: Preslar completed the rare feat of winning both games of the doubleheader at Seventy-First last Wednesday. The Raiders, who are currently a half a game up on Pinecrest High School for first place in the Sandhills Athletic Conference Standings, outscored the Falcons 26-0 in the two games.
In Game 1, a three-inning mercy-rule win that saw the Raiders roll 18-0, Preslar dominated. He faced just nine batters, gave up one hit and struck out three batters all on just 28 pitches. In Game 2, he went the distance in five innings, striking out nine batters on just two hits, keeping his pitch count at 58 pitches.
At the plate in the first game, Preslar was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. In the finale, he was 1-for-1 with a two-RBI double down the left field line. On the spring, Preslar is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, and is batting .292 with five doubles.
Luke Preslar winds up for a pitch against Seventy-First High School.
RAPID FIRE – FAST RESPONSES
1) What was the 11-game winning streak like? What was the one thing that kept it going?
“It was pretty great,” Preslar said. “We started hitting ball, playing like a team, and when you do that, you feel like you can accomplish a lot. We were determined to keep winning.
“Coach Young always told us we can’t change what happens three hours from now,” he added. “We had to get our mind set for game time.”
2) What are some of the team’s goals the rest of the way?
“Of course we want to finish out the season first in conference and sweep Scotland this week,” Preslar said. “And we’d love to go down and win out on the beach tournament and come back and win the conference tournament.
“We know we can make a run in the state playoffs,” he added.
3) If you could have lunch with an MLB player, who would it be and why?
“Clayton Kershaw, since he’s left-handed,” Preslar explained of the Los Angeles Dodgers ace. “I look up to him because of the things he’s done in the League.
“I’d ask him how he got to the point he’s at, and see what are some of the things he’s done to throw 94 plus,” he concluded. “And I’d ask him what it’s like to play in the Majors.”
Coach’s Corner: Head coach Ricky Young talked about Preslar’s wins, as well as fulfilling his role on the team this season.
“Luke threw the ball well and kept his pitch count down,” Young said. “I told him if he could do that we’d probably roll into the second game with him. I didn’t think he’d pitch both complete games, but he did a great job.
“It gave him a chance to get out on the mound and get some work in,” he added. “He also swung the bat well. Luke has done a really good job this season, and he’s a hard worker who keeps a really positive attitude.”