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Centerville’s dual player Jeitz is a true team player for the Tigers | baseball team BRAZOS SPORTS | college sports

One would be craving to find a schedule busier in the spring than Centerville senior Kasen Jeitz.

Jeitz, a two-sport athlete for the Tigers, has been juggling track and baseball for the past two years, but his plate overflowed this year when the Centerville baseball team’s playoff run with UIL state last month – Athletics meeting collided.

The sprinter won a gold and two silver medals at the Class 2A course meeting on May 13, and then less than 12 hours later headed to Lufkin in the 2A area round to play and pitch shortstop in Centerville’s doubleheader with Shelbyville. With Jeitz in tow, the Tigers won Game 3 of the series 3-2 and advanced to the regional quarterfinals in consecutive seasons.

“He not only attended those games, he attended one of them,” Centerville baseball coach Demond Denman said. “It’s amazing what he was able to accomplish in four short years of high school.”

Jeitz gets another chance to extend his senior season when fifth-ranked Centerville (28-4) meets eighth-ranked Garrison (29-7) in a best-of-3 Region III championship series at the Lufkin Panther Baseball Complex. The Tigers play Game 3 every Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. if required.

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“It was good,” said Jeitz about the hustle and bustle. “I took a little break from running just to get my legs under me again, with baseball and track and field combined it was quite a bit. Now you can just focus a little bit on baseball and help the team get as far as possible, it’s been really fun.”

Jeitz began playing club baseball at the age of nine and was the hitter boy for the Tigers when his father, Jason Jeitz, was the Centerville ISD superintendent and assistant baseball coach. Both ventures laid a foundation for his baseball career and fostered his admiration for former shortstops, Centerville standout Cade Harris and New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter.

“I just loved how [Jeter] played the game,” said Jeitz. “When I was little, all I watched was Cade Harris, who played in Oklahoma and then got drafted [by the MLB]. I just saw how he played and the swag he had in everything. Growing up with baseball just teaches you things [along the way].”

The four-year varsity member also supports the Tigers and is their leading hitter. Jeitz said he’s never been the greatest or the strongest in his positions, but his “greatest contribution to the team is my leadership.”

“Because he was a freshman first [stood] out is that he is competitive. He wants to win,” Denman said. “…The other thing is that he’s good at getting the kids to flock to him and they follow his lead. He’s a leader. He’s optimistic, he works hard, he does a million different things and he finds a way to be great at all of them.”

Jeitz has had offers to play college baseball and last year joined the track team for the first time since junior high in hopes of improving his mileage. But his plans for baseball quickly changed as more doors opened up for him at the track. Jeitz chose the stretch and committed to West Point in February after learning about their program via Twitter.

“The course coach called me and it kind of started from there,” he said. “The doors it opens and what it will do for me during the military and even after it was just something I couldn’t refuse.”

NOTES – Jeitz won gold as Centerville’s anchor in the 4×400 relay team that ran 3 minutes 20.24 seconds to beat reigning champion Refugio. Jeitz also took silver in the 800 meters (1:58.65) and 400 meters (49.14). … Jeitz was District 21-2A Defensive Player of the Year last season. He was Centerville’s valedictorian that year, with a 4.36 grade point average.

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