Lancer Baseball Seniors Remember Time at Grace

By Jordan Butler

Guess what, baseball fans? It’s that time of year again; baseball season is in full swing, so come on out to the diamond and see what’s up with the Lancers! The smell of the fresh cut grass, the sights and sounds of the ballpark, the hot dogs, the vendor shouting “peanuts, cracker jacks, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cold coke” — there is nothing else like it. With the school year winding down, it is time once again to recognize our seniors! Our seniors this year are Matthew Helm, Clifford Buttermore, Jason Smith, Jeff Himes, and Kier West.

First up, Matthew Helm. Matt states, “One quote I always used to pump up the guys is ‘Survival of the “fitness” boys!’” In this case, Matt couldn’t be any more right. The season does eventually come and that’s when the fun begins, but the guys have to survive the pre-season fitness and workout sessions before that can happen. One of Matt’s favorite memories from his time here at Grace is “sliding on my knees off of the mound after I beat IWU.” Matt’s future aspirations include “working in the media department in a sports field such as radio broadcasting, camera work, or sports news.”

As for Jason Smith, one of his favorite memories was “just being around the guys; it was always a great time.” In the future, “Smitty” states, “I plan on teaching, coaching and probably moving down South.”

Clifford Buttermore has been a great asset to the baseball team in his three years here. He has been very productive and rightfully so has made his mark in the all-time Lancer record book. Cliff is third all time in strike-outs with 163 strike-outs, third all time in career ERA (earned run average) with a 2.8, amd he has made the list of top 10 in career wins. A few fond memories for Cliff have included “playing with the class of Nate Wottring, Josh Petring.” He enjoyed talking to Josh (his catcher) about messing with batters after an inning on the mound. Another great memory for Cliff was “the walk off win against Spring Arbor last year,” a game in which Cliff pitched. Cliff states he is “excited to see where the program goes under the leadership of Coach Barr.” This year, Cliff “enjoyed getting closer with Jeff Himes.” They were both named team captains this season. Cliff also “enjoyed building a closer friendship and bond with Jason Smith.”

Jeff Himes is another senior who will be missed. For Jeff, some of his favorite memories have been “the bus rides with the guys, just joking around and having a good time.” Jeff says, “I’m also really blessed to have had the opportunity to meet some of the guys that would grow to be some of my best friends.” In closing, Jeff states “I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to live my dream of playing college baseball.”

Last but not least, is Kier West. One of Kier’s favorite memories is when, “during practice, we were working on bunt coverages while Coach Augustine (Augi) was in the batter’s box. Kent Judy didn’t know the pitchers weren’t supposed to throw a baseball to the catcher. He went up to the mound and beamed Augi in the back! In response, Coach Augi threw his ‘fungo’ bat to the ground and broke it.” Kier describes these as “great times!” By special request of Kier, a funny memory he recalls is when “Jason Smith once walked three batters and never made it through the fourth inning because he threw 14 straight balls against Indiana Tech.”

As this group of five gentlemen prepare to graduate, from all of us here at the Sounding Board, we want to wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!