Athlete of the Month: Yack displays humility, leadership on field
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 17:04
Great sports athletes separate themselves from the crowd by delivering solid performances right when they are needed.
For the Dixie State College baseball team, junior infielder Colton Yack is just that player.
Yack turned in one brilliant performance after another in the month of March, and those performances have earned him Athlete of the Month honors.
“He’s been playing [tremendously],” head coach Mike Littlewood said. “He’s been playing great defense, and in the last month he leads our team in batting average.”
Yack’s .389 batting average is not only good enough to lead the Red Storm, but also most of the conference. Only three players in the Pacific West Conference have a better batting average at this point in the season.
Although the season started in February, the majority of his work has been done in the last month. Yack recorded just 10 hits in the first month of the season, and in March he more than doubled that number with 25 hits.
Teammate Daniel Zapata, a junior communication major from Mesa, Ariz., said it was easy to see why Yack was selected as Athlete of the Month.
“We had a great month on the field,” Zapata said. “It starts with him at the top of the lineup. He’s getting on base, and it sets up the big guys to hit him in. He did his job, that’s for sure.”
And while some players might brag about their success, Yack is not that kind of player. He prefers to let his play do the talking.
“He leads by example,” Littlewood said. “He’s a quiet guy but very competitive. He just gets the job done and doesn’t really say much about it.”
That quality, more so than his athletic ability, is perhaps why Yack is respected all around by his teammates.
“He brings a very good presence,” said Kyle DiMartino, a senior integrated studies major from Las Vegas. “He’s always upbeat and always trying to do his best. He’s a good teammate.”
Littlewood echoed DiMartino’s sentiment and said everybody on the team gets along with Yack because he knows how to treat each situation.
“He knows when to joke around, but he also knows when to take stuff seriously,” Littlewood said. “He’s just a really good baseball player. That’s just kind of the bottom line with Colton. He’s a good player (and) goes about his business the right way.”
And in sports all it takes is one player to take care of business, and the rest of the team will follow suit.
The Red Storm are currently in second place in the PacWest with a 17-7 conference record and have certainly benefitted from the spark provided by Yack.
“Bottom line he’s just playing better than anybody right now,” Littlewood said.