TO get ready for the 2014 baseball season, Cam Curry gave up a chance to be a key player on a Columbus East football team that would win the Class 4A state crown.
William Anderson gave up an opportunity to play on an East basketball team that won 17 games and finished second in the Hoosier Hills Conference.
But while both juniors cast aside one of their two sports this school year, they’re reaping the benefits of playing extra baseball in the fall and winter. They’ve been the top two hitters and top two pitchers so far on an Olympians team that is off to its best start in several years going into today’s Columbus East Lou Giovanini Baseball Invitational.
“I basically did it for my summer (baseball) coach,” Curry said. “He was trying to get me more looks by colleges, which helped me a lot. But next year, I’m going to go back to football.”
“It was tough,” Anderson said. “I had played basketball my whole life, but over the winter, I got to do a lot of pitching stuff that I usually couldn’t when I was playing basketball. I kept my mind busy, and it was fun.”
Curry saw some varsity action at tight end, linebacker and kicker as a sophomore when East won a regional football title before sitting out his junior year.
“A lot of people told me we probably had a good shot (to win state),” Curry said. “But baseball is my true love, so I focused on it. I kind of screwed myself over there a little bit.”
Anderson was a junior varsity basketball player as a sophomore but at 6-foot-8 had untapped potential.
“My conditioning probably was a little hurt from not playing basketball, but I got to do a lot of offseason work to kind of fix some stuff that I needed to fix,” Anderson said. “I came in better conditioned for baseball.”
Curry credits much of his early-season success to taking batting practice at the home of teammate Sam Claycamp.
“I feel like (not playing football) helped me because I’ve actually gotten to go to Sam’s house and take a lot of cuts throughout the winter and do a lot of hitting on my own and focusing on a lot of it,” Curry said.
Curry and Anderson have been productive both at the plate and on the mound this spring for the 5-2 Olympians.
Curry is batting .462 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and 10 RBIs. Anderson is hitting .435 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and 11 RBIs.
Anderson is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA on the mound. Curry has yet to record a decision but has a 0.00 ERA with 10 scoreless innings pitched.
“They’ve been pretty solid,” East coach Jon Gratz said. “They’ve been hitting 3-4 in the lineup for us and have been a big part of our offense so far this year. They’re two guys that have been leaders at the plate for us and leaders on the mound. We’re getting a lot out of those two.
“I would have probably said Cam was a better hitter, and Will was a better pitcher, but they’ve both been good with both facets of the game right now,” he said. “I’m not sure if I can say that either of them are better at one spot right now.”
Gratz hasn’t been surprised at their production.
“We expected them to have pretty good years this year,” Gratz said. “They’re both very talented athletes.”