WEST PORTSMOUTH — West senior Caleb Hazelbaker said he knew upon visiting Wittenberg University’s Springfield, OH campus that it would make a good home for his next four years.
And as of earlier this month, Hazelbaker made it official that he would be attending Wittenberg — signing to continue his education and join the men’s soccer team after spending his last four years as a Senator soccer player.
“As soon as we went on campus, it was one of those feelings where I knew it was the place for me. The atmosphere itself was one that didn’t match anywhere else I visited,” Hazelbaker said, of Springfield. “The coaches, players on the team were friendly and wanted to know about me the person, not just the player.”
If you’ve been to a Senator sporting event these last four years, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Hazelbaker’s name announced as a competitor.
In addition to his time on the pitch, Hazelbaker has spent his time in high school as a four-year member of the baseball team, a three-year swim team member, and a kicker on the football team and cross country runner for two years.
He was appreciative of coach Daniel Thompson and head coach Bryant Craft for joining the program and staying there during his final two seasons — both of which he was named to the SOC II first team.
“Definitely an honor to play for the team and be a Senator,” Hazelbaker said. “Amazing to have Coach Thompson and Coach Craft as coaches, they stuck with us and we formed some pretty tight-knit relationships.”
Hazelbaker said he plans to major in Biology while playing soccer at the next level — something that he called “a dream”
“This has really been a dream for me since I was little. I’ve played soccer since I was very small, it’s always been a sport I’ve been very fond of,” Hazelbaker said. “Thankful to God for everything He’s done for me and my family.”
Hazelbaker is also the Portsmouth West HS class of 2021’s Salutatorian and will be honored as such at their graduation on Friday, June 4.
The senior soon-to-be graduate said he was thankful for knowing those who attended his signing for how they’ve helped him in his high school journey.
“It’s amazing. So glad to have known everyone through the years and what they’ve meant for me. I hope we get to stay in touch down the road and I’m so thankful for everything I have today.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved