If you are seeking a position defined by leadership, then look no further than behind the plate at the catch position, as the Legacy Sabers feature a dynamic duo than can lead them back to the top of the West.
When you suit up the catching gear at Legacy High, expectations come with the mask and pads. That’s exactly what Marcus Butts and Aaron Urlacher understand when it comes to the catching position.
“Catching group, the core of it has been great,” says Aaron Urlacher. “It’s been awesome to be around. Definitely helped me develop as a player and now I’m trying to pass it off to the younger guys, knowing how important the position is and just being involved in every play and being ready for whatever comes.”
“When you’re catcher, you’re the quarterback of the team, you’re the leader on the field,” says Marcus Butts. “Whether or not Aaron or I are behind the plate, we have full confidence in who we have back here. Calling out plays, step one or step two, stuff like that.”
It’s not the most glamorous position, you don’t get the facetime, and you go home with all kinds of nicks and bruises, but that’s what makes both Butts and Urlacher earn the respect of their teammates.
“I think the guys respect him a ton,” says head coach Eddie Streeter. “He’s not big in stature but you have to make it up in something else. He’s a grinder. He works hard every day. Works really hard on his craft and you have Butts, who is a proven leader with how he was in hockey and captain and all-state performer. So I think they are just trying to, it’s really good to see them each day and push each other.”
Legacy is always going to be looking for more pitchers, so having a veteran catching group that can shepherd those players on the mound could be an edge after this late start to the season.
“Learning their pitches, knowing where to place their ball best with each and every pitch,” says Butts. “Change up, you want to keep it low in the zone and whether they have to spike it or not, they have to have confidence in if they have to block it or frame a pitch outside, they’re going to have to have confidence that you’re going to be able to frame it.”
“It’s just communication and just getting to know them,” says Urlacher. “I think trust is the biggest thing between a pitcher and a catcher and building up trust is very important.”
Coach Streeter knows the position better than anyone, a former catcher back in his playing days, saying there’s one trait over any other than can make someone special, and that he sees in his dynamic duo.
“It’s one of the few positions that you’re going to have to want to play in order to be good at it,” says Streeter. “Everybody can go play short or second or first and not want to and be okay at it. If you don’t want to catch like the attributes it takes to be a good catcher, you’re never going to acquire. So both those guys want to catch, want to be really good at it. And to me, the years we have really good catching, we’ve been alright.”