Chase Vaden came to North Stokes as a junior from McMichael and in the past two years has left a lasting impression on the Vikings baseball program. On Friday, he signed a letter of intent to continue playing beyond high school at Pfeiffer University.
“Fiery is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Chase,” said North’s baseball coach Stephen Sauer. “He’s a team player who pushes his teammates to be better, which is something you want out of your seniors.”
Sauer was quick to see potential in the athlete who came in with a dominant bat and quiet confidence on the mound as a pitcher.
“I believed he could play in college. Skill-wise he was there and he’s continued to mature. He’s showing more self-control and has become a leader. Chase has an excellent work ethic and will do anything you ask of him.”
The coach recalled earlier in the season when his players weren’t hitting as well as they should have been.
“We had a group of five kids for about three or four weeks that stayed after practice. They rolled the batting cage back out and for 45 minutes to an hour they went at it. Chase was a big part of that. He’s the first to practice and the last to leave.”
The coach is pleased with Vaden’s choice in Pfeiffer and sees it as a good fit.
“He’ll still have some familiar faces close by, but it’ll give him some separation as well. He’s going to bring a great skill set to the program and I’m happy for him.”
Although Vaden was equally successful on the football field earning an all-conference nod, he said baseball is a sport that comes natural to him.
“I’ve played since I was five and I love everything about it,” he said. “I try to work hard and go out and give it everything I can.”
That determination he and his teammates have, have propelled the Vikings to the most wins in school history and a run at the conference championship title. Although North finished as runners-up, they’re set to host the first round of the state playoffs.
“I knew we’d do a little better than last year but this year has been great and I’m really proud of everybody,” Vaden said.
While the athlete is looking ahead and already preparing to meet goals he’s set for himself this summer, he said the Vikings program and coaches will always be a part of his life moving forward.
“Coach Sauer pushed me and helped me become a better leader. He’s always helped me in school and problems outside of school and on the field. He’s really worked with me a lot,” Vaden said. “I know there’s more to be done. I’ve always felt like you can be better and that’s what I plan to do.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.