This story originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of ESPNHS Oregon.
It seems like everyone in Oregon can regale you with a story about what makes Westview senior Carson Kelly a rare talent.
Some point to the astounding power he displayed while cranking a mammoth homer (450 feet, some say) against Jesuit. Others bring up Kelly’s brilliant outing against Lake Oswego, in which he was one strike shy of a perfect game.
And there are numerous stories about his penchant for delivering in clutch situations, like his five-K effort that clinched a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games.
But the story Kelly wants people to tell is still unwritten.
“Just looking back on the last couple of years has been great,” he says. “But there’s no finish line in my life. There’s always work to be done to become the person I want to be.”
The person Kelly was last spring was the leader of Westview’s first title-winning squad and the Gatorade State Player of the Year. He tagged opposing pitchers for 13 homers and 48 RBIs and was nearly unhittable on the mound, posting a 9-1 mark with a 1.72 ERA and 67 K’s.
“Without him, there’s no way we’re playing for our fourth straight Metro League or back-to-back 6A titles,” says coach Steve Antich.
Expectations are even higher for Kelly this spring as the team was rocked by graduation and pro scouts are sure to occupy any ballpark the Westview bus pulls into.
“It doesn’t get overwhelming because I love the game,” Kelly says of the pressure.
Kelly is hoping the next chapter of his story includes another state crown and a selection in the upcoming MLB draft. But even then you won’t be able to place the final period just yet; with Kelly the best is yet to come.
“Carson has big dreams, and he knows he has not achieved them yet,” says Antich. “He could easily say, ‘I’m a good high school player,’ and cruise. But he wants to be great.”
David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.