Riverview High catcher has pros in his sights
RIVERVIEW - For Riverview High School senior catcher Brett Clements, baseball is in his blood. His father, David Clements, was a ninth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 and eventually qualified for the major-league team's 40-man roster before an injury sidelined him. The younger Clements, who has been playing baseball for as long as he has been able to walk, has committed to play baseball at South Florida Community College, where he will study business and communication. He hopes that's a stepping stone to the pros."My No. 1 goal is to become a professional baseball player," Clements said. "If that doesn't happen, I'd be happy to go somewhere and coach because I love the game." Clements had several individual goals coming into his final season at Riverview. "I wanted to hit .300 and get 20 hits this season," said Clements, who had a .324 batting average with 23 hits, seven doubles, two home runs and 13 runs batted in. He also has several team goals he hopes to accomplish before he takes his last swing as a Shark. "Going into the season, I wanted to be a big part of my team's success, and we're definitely looking to go past districts and come together as a team," he said. The team was 10-11 - including an April 16 win over Lakeland High School, which is ranked No. 10 in the country - going into the regular season finale against Newsome on Friday. The Sharks are traveling fewer than 10 miles to the district tournament, which begins Monday at East Bay High School in Gibsonton. Coach Bill Leiby said one of the players he'll rely on most the rest of the way is Clements, because of his ability and experience on the field. "He's a four-year starter, which is almost unheard of in class 6A baseball," Leiby said. "I'd also say he's probably played more games than anyone in Riverview High School history."
Reporter John Ceballos can be reached at (813) 627-4762.
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