Westward Bound: Student Leaves Hometown for Clark College Baseball

Juggling sports and academics is no easy task, especially at the college level. It is a big commitment, but very rewarding.

Tyler Vicars, a freshman pitcher from Harrisburg, North Carolina, shared his experience as a student-athlete at Clark College.

The average day for a student athlete like Vicars is split between long practices and classes. Some athletes also have jobs. “I just try to put priorities in order. I understand that school comes first, work comes second, and sports comes third. I try not to overwork myself.”

While prioritizing is important to student-athletes like Vicars, he also understands the reward in being able to play the game.

“It’s definitely worth it. It pays for college. I don’t always enjoy it, but it pays off in the long run,” he said.

Vicars was aware of the challenges that came with moving across the country for school. “God willing, it was the right thing,” he said. “Clark was one of the schools recruiting me the hardest, it was cheaper and I got financial aid benefits,” he said.

Vicars is still settling into his new town.  

Clark Penguins play a home game agains Linn Benton on April 22. Linn Benton won 2-1. (Cat Duque/The Indy)
Clark Penguins play a home game agains Linn Benton on April 22. Linn Benton won 2-1. (Cat Duque/The Indy)

“Vancouver is a pretty place, and it’s wet too,” he said. “I prefer the south because of the hospitality.”

Vicars’ teammates, freshmen Kai Perreira and Jeremy Martin, also shared their experiences of being student-athletes.

“It’s challenging,” Perreira said. “We wake up early and some of us have class at 8:00 or 8:30. Our day is really busy from then, but it’s fun.”

“It’s definitely a challenge. A lot of early classes, and we usually start practicing at noon and go late,” Martin said. “You’ve got to stay on top of your classes, and you’ve got to love the game.”

The Penguins played back to back doubleheaders at Southern Oregon, on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. The first doubleheader went well; they won the first game 6-1 and the second game 10-3.

The Penguins lost the second doubleheader, losing the first game 12-9 and the second game 4-1.

Vicars gave his insights on both doubleheaders.

“In the first doubleheader, Alan Becklehimer and Joe Nickel pitched almost flawlessly. We had a lot of good hitting from the whole team that led us to win both games,” he said. “Overall we couldn’t put it together [the second] day. I still think we have a good team, and a lot of people think we could be good next year. We have a lot of young talent, but we have to be consistent. It’s hard for young teams to be consistent.”

Despite the loss, Vicars has big goals for the season, which he believes the team can accomplish. “We want to make the playoffs and let the other teams know we’re here,” he said.

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