Just watching Penn senior Chad Whitmer pitch, you can tell he's something special.
"I think it hit me around middle school that this is something that I can do for a while," Whitmer says of baseball. "I love the game and love coming out here every day with my teammates and just practicing and playing and doing whatever."
Whitmer is the ace of the Penn high school baseball team. He's a team leader but definitely in a show it kind of way.
"He's a very quiet person---I'm not going to lie to you," Kingsmen coach Greg Dikos says with a smile. "He's kind of unassuming. He kind of stays to himself. He's definitely not a vocal leader. There are times when we have to kick him in the rear end to get him going."
Whitmer looks as poised as anyone on the mound but inside that's sometimes a different story.
"I'm nervous before the game," Whitmer explains. "Once I get out on the mound, it's just adrenaline. I'm not really a calm guy--I can get wound up on the mound."
Whatever the demeanor he gets the job done. Whitmer's numbers as a senior this season are absurd. He's 6-0 with a save. He's sporting a 1.18 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched and he's walked just four batters.
It's no wonder why he will pitch at the highest level next season at Southern Illinois.
"It really means a lot," Whitmer says. "They are a good division one school in a good conference. It's kind of nerve racking but I'll get over it."
Dikos sees success for Whitmer at the next level.
"Southern Illinois has a great prospect in Chad," The Penn Skipper says. "He throws upper 80s and touches 90 occasionally. He is just going to get stronger and stronger as he goes through their program."
For now, Whitmer is pitching for the "P" on his chest. And as a senior, he has his eyes set on achieving the biggest of goals.
"I think we can get to state," Whitmer says. "I really do."
If the Kingsmen do, number 32 will likely be the main reason why.