Wednesday, 25 March 2020 20:43

Luke Preslar: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

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Luke Preslar has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week. Luke Preslar has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Senior baseball player Luke Preslar has been named the ROSports Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tires & Service.

The Richmond Observer is continuing its weekly spotlight on local athletes amid the current spring sports suspension. Instead of it being a performanced-based recognition, the articles will be written using a “meet the athlete” perspective.

Earning his second career selection, Preslar is one of the six seniors on this year’s team who is seeing his playing time cut short by the coronavirus.

Athletic Profile

Age: 18

Birthday: Feb. 2, 2002

Year: Senior

Spring Sport: Baseball

Position: Pitcher/Outfielder

Years on Varsity: 2 years

Height & Weight: 5-11, 170  pounds

Experience: 13 years

“AROUND THE HORN” WITH LUKE PRESLAR

The Raiders started the 2020 on a three-game skid under first-year head coach Rob Ransom. Despite the early struggles, Preslar was batting .250 with a double, and also threw three innings on the mound for Richmond. The lefty tossed three innings in the opener against Anson, allowing two runs on two hits and struck out three batters.

RSHS Academics: As his final semester at Richmond reaches its last nine weeks, Preslar is making the shift from being on campus to online courses. At the high school, he’s taking Advanced Weight Training with Brad Denson and has English IV Honors with Craig Jones.

Preslar is also taking several classes at Richmond Community College this spring, and will continue to take Art Appreciation, Ethics and Spanish. Around campus, he’s involved with the Beta Club and the Bleacher Creatures.

“I’ve really enjoyed weight training this semester,” Preslar said. “I got to connect with the whole baseball team, and Denson makes it fun. He wants us to get better and gets us ready for life after high school.”

College Aspirations: Set to graduate in the next couple of months, Preslar is looking to start his college career locally before heading to the beach.

“I’m going to RichmondCC for a semester to finish my associate’s degree and then I’m going to transfer to UNC-Wilmington to study exercise science,” he explained. “I want to be in the health field and become a physical therapist.

“I volunteered at the hospital over the summer and I helped with physical therapy,” he added. “I got to meet new people and connect with them. I think it’s fun helping others out.”

Combating Coronavirus: Being forced to miss precious time on the baseball field and with his classmates during his senior season due to COVID-19, Preslar isn’t giving up hope just yet.

“I think about school and baseball every day and I miss it a lot,” he shared. “I’m trying to continue all of my school work and keep my grades up so I can graduate when the time comes. I’ve also been going to the gym and staying active, hitting and throwing with the guys when I can and I hope we can go back and finish.

“I want the other guys, especially the seniors, not to give up yet,” he continued. “There might be a chance we can go back out and change the season. We were starting to turn things around.” 

Raider Chats: Due to the coronavirus outbreak and school being suspended until May 15, ROSports did not do a video interview with Preslar. Instead, he participated in a phone interview and answered the following questions regarding his performance so far this season.

ROSports: Even though you only got to play three games so far during your senior season, what was the experience like? What are you missing most right now?

Preslar: “I miss being out there with the guys and connecting with them to make our team stronger. We are a young team with a new coach and we were out there having fun.

“I’m ready to get back and win. I really miss the guys and the last two practices we had. They were the best we had this spring and we were putting in the work.”

ROSports: You’ve been a Raider baseball player the last four years. How has wearing the green and gold better prepared you for life after high school?

Preslar: “I think it’s prepared me a lot by teaching me not to lay down and quit when things get tough. Being a Raider baseball player has shown me how to persevere and come out stronger.”

ROSports: What are some of your favorite memories, baseball related or otherwise, while being a student at Richmond?

Preslar: “Being a Bleacher Creature with everyone and being out there with all my friends supporting Raider athletics has been fun. The Myers Park playoff game was pretty cool.”

ROSports: If you could start your own MLB franchise, who would you pick to be your top two players (pitcher, infielder/outfielder)?

Preslar: “For my outfielder I’d pick Ronald Acuna with the Braves. That’s my favorite team and he’s been there a couple years now and is making a name for himself. He’s put in a lot of work building the Braves back up.

“My pitcher would be Clayton Kershaw from the Dodgers. He’s a lefty and I’ve always liked how he’s played and pitched. We’re both left handed so I’ve watched him and tried to relate to the things he does when he pitches.”

ROSports: Name a person who has served as a role model or mentor to you. And what about this person is so special?

Preslar: “My mom, Joy Graves. She’s always been there for me my whole life, and does a lot to help me succeed. She’s done a lot to help make me who I am today.”


Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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