MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Even with no season, Mishawaka senior catcher Derrick Dawson still gets his baseball fix in.
"It's good to stay in shape and get my arm warm for the season to come," Dawson said. "Hitting is very important for me. I do a lot of hitting in my backyard...just got to keep my body going get used to the tempo of baseball."
Dawson made hitting an art form for the Cavemen.
"Hit it in the gap," Dawson said. "That's all I would focus on. Base hit. Base hit. Base hit. I always try to get a base hit or score my teammates. Always try to hit it where they are not."
Dawson would have started all four years for the Cavemen if he got his senior season and saw significant improvement at the dish. As a freshman on varsity, he recorded a .212 batting average but saw those numbers spike into the .300's as he grew in the program.
"I felt like as I grew and played the game more, I felt more confidence in my skills and abilities," Dawson said. "I think I played a little bit better. I also think it humbled me a little bit because coming into my freshman year, I thought I was the stuff and I had everything but as I grew there, coach Huemmer and the guys told me, this is a team sport."
Dawson quickly became one of the best team players for Mishawaka.
"The best ability is accountability and I think that's definitely what they showed me and always be there for people who are there for you," Dawson said. "Never let them down. They really showed me that through the years."
Playing for Mishawaka means everything for Dawson. He went to all the Cavemen baseball camps growing up and he loved wearing the Maroon on the diamond.
"It meant a lot to me to start four years straight at the high school I always wanted to play at," Dawson said. "It was a really good experience with all of those guys."
Dawson will get to experience the collegiate level next. He's taking the JUCO route and will take his talents to Lincoln Trail in Illinois. Dawson hopes he will either get drafted or transfer to a D1 program.