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DEXTER — Heading into his senior season on the baseball field, Devin Catlin was hoping to have one more time to shine for the Cedar Vale/Dexter Spartans. Not only did Catlin want to lead CVD to a Walter Johnson/South Central Border League championship, but he also saw it as one last chance for college scouts to see what he could produce.
Unfortunately, that all came to an end when the Kansas State High School Activities Association shut down the spring sports season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And with that, Catlin’s baseball career may have closed just like that.
“I had thought really hard about going to play baseball somewhere,” said Catlin, a senior at Dexter High School. “But with the pandemic, that really ruined any offers I may have gotten throughout the season. Personally, I had goals for myself to get pitcher of the year and try and get back to the state tournament.
“It was extremely tough to hear the news that the season and my high school career was over. It’s like a nightmare that came true. I feel like I haven’t hit my peak yet. It’s never a good feeling to feel like you have more to give but can’t. But if this keeps people healthy, then I’m fully on board with it.”
Catlin had high expectations heading into his senior campaign of baseball. He was coming off a junior campaign in which he went a perfect 7-0 on the mound with a 0.43 earned run average for the Spartans. He also had two no-hitters and struck out 52 batters. At the plate, he hit around .320. Catlin was named All-WJL/SCBL First Team, as well as All-Class 2-1A First Team by Sports in Kansas.
“I’d say baseball has been my sport just because the stats back it up,” Catlin said. .”Truthfully, I loved both basketball and baseball, but when it comes down to it, I love the peace of baseball and being in control of a game on the mound.”
During his high school baseball career, Catlin played the sport for three years, earning all-league twice, as well as First Team All-Class-2-1A as a pitcher his junior season and Second Team second baseman as a sophomore.
Catlin spent his final three years playing sport for Cedar Vale/Dexter after transferring from Oxford. In his freshman campaign, he was a member of the Wildcat baseball team that finished 20-2 after losing to eventual Class 2-1A champion Leon-Bluestem at the state tournament in Great Bend.
“One of my favorite baseball memories was going to state my freshman year at Oxford,” Catlin said. “That team was something special, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”
Although he was unable to compete in baseball this season, it was already a successful season year for Catlin. He was a member of a football team that captured the Eight Man I-District 1 championship and advanced to the state playoffs, finishing with a 7-2 record. It was his only year playing football in high school as he earned All-SCBL First Team and All-State Honorable Mention at wide receiver.
Over the winter, he was a standout on the Spartan basketball team that went 17-3 and won a share of the South Central Border League regular-season championship with Udall. CVD suffered a heartbreaking 59-57 overtime loss to Wichita Independent in the opening round of the Class 2A Sedan Sub-State Tournament.
Catlin averaged a team-high 17.6 points per game this season for the Spartan basketball team. He shot a team-best 50 percent from three-point range, while also recording three assists, five rebounds and two steals a game. He was a four-year player in basketball, picking up All-SCBL First Team as a junior and senior and Second Team as a sophomore. He was also Second Team All-Class 2A this season by Sports in Kansas and Honorable Mention by The Wichita Eagle.
“I had really high hopes and honestly expectations more so than hopes,” Catlin said. “I wanted to go to state, but we got beat in a tough sub-state by Wichita Independent. We won our league and league tournament, and I’m very proud of that.”
In addition to sports, Catlin was also active in National Honors Society, as well as Circle of Friends — an organization where students get a chance to spent time and develop relationships with special-needs children.
“It’s extremely important to me because you never know what someone is going through,” Catlin said. “Feeling like I can be a light in someone’s life and make a difference is a huge positive. That’s the biggest reward I could ever ask for.”
Catlin will be graduating from Dexter High School with plans to attend the University of Kansas with a major in exercise science. He plans on pursuing a career as a chiropractor, finishing up his studies at Cleveland Chiropractic in Kansas City.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DEVIN CATLIN …
SEK-SPORTS: What are some of your interests and hobbies away from school?
CATLIN: “Some hobbies I enjoy are fishing, hanging out with my friends & family, and working out trying to stay in shape.”
SEK-SPORTS: Who is your favorite athlete? Favorite sports team? Favorite music group/singer?
CATLIN: “My favorite athlete is probably Patrick Mahomes … not so much because I look up to him but because he drug the chiefs out of our curse. My favorite sports teams are KU, the Royals and Chiefs. My favorite singer is probably Morgan Wallen or Mike Stud.”
SEK-SPORTS: Who are the people that you look up to as far as role models?
CATLIN: “I look up to one of my favorite Artists, Mike Stud, because he went and pitched at Duke and tore his UCL. Instead of taking a traditional route, he made a life out of music and now tries to send a positive message and motivate people.”
SEK-SPORTS: What is a fun fact about you that people may or may not know?
CATLIN: “People may not know that I’m unbeatable in ping pong.”