All-Star off to Florida

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Forget about October baseball, West Liberty’s Drake Collins, 12, is going to play December baseball for the Disney at ESPN World Classic in Orlando, Fla.

“I’m excited,” says the all-round 7th grade athlete for WLMS. “It’s going to be the farthest place I’ve ever traveled for baseball.”

Drake, the son of Jerrod and Mindy Collins, made the cut out of 120 plus kids that participated in the JP Sports All-Star Weekend 2017 in Chicago back in August.

He was already playing among the best from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri in Chicago then. Now he’s a member of the Midwest All-Star team in Florida.

So how is he going to handle the tough competition?

“I’ll take it just like I do regularly,” he says. “You can’t really think anybody is better than you, you just got to think they’re all just as good as you.”

Drake Collins plays for the West Liberty baseball team, under coaches Phil McIntire and Dustin Noble, during the warmer months.

However, he also plays for the Quad City Storm, a traveling baseball team. It was his skill there that got him into the Chicago tournament.

Drake’s favorite player in the MLB is Mike Trout, a six-time MLB All-Star with the Los Angeles Angels. Much like Trout, Drake identifies as a power hitter.

In his first game during the Chicago All-Star weekend he hit two triples. That’s two hits powerful enough to get Drake to third base two separate times.

While the team had a rough start, they eventually overcame over a dozen other teams and won it all, taking first place in the 12U tourney championship.

“I didn’t think we’d get that far, I only knew two kids on the team before we went there,” says Drake. “But then I got to know all of them.”

“Just watching all the other teams play before, they looked a lot better,” he adds. “But we believed we could win.”

In the end it was that simple. They won it all.

It was Drake’s skill behind the plate, at third base, shortstop, catcher and as a pitcher that got him noticed by scouts. He was an MVP in Chicago.

As a result he was selected to play for the Mid-West All-Star team in Florida out of the hundreds of kids playing in the JP Sports All-Star Weekend 2017 in Chicago.

The Disney at ESPN World Classic takes place Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, so the Collins get to hop on an airplane the day after Christmas. He’s already got a game plan.

“If you go out there and think they’re way better than you, you’re just not going to do good,” says Drake. He’s prepared at a mental level for high stakes baseball.

Young Drake has been out on a diamond since the age of five when he played T-Ball.

Of all the positions he plays, his favorite is third base.

“You get balls hit to you a lot,” he says.

That being said Drake says he has quite the arsenal when he’s pitching. He’s got three weapons, a fastball, a curveball and a cutter.

In the sport of baseball he’s been chosen for All-State Iowa for two years, as well as numerous MVP and player awards.

However, Drake still participates in all the sports he can during the year including wrestling, basketball and track. He’s currently the quarterback on the 7th grade football team.

When asked which sport is his favorite, he responds with “Whatever one is next.” Good luck in Florida Drake!
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