Riverview High School catcher steps up to the plate
RIVERVIEW - Senior catcher Brett Clements had several individual goals coming into his final season as a member of Riverview High School's varsity baseball team. "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 began Monday at East Bay High School in Gibsonton. Baseball 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." For Clements, who has been playing baseball for as long as he has been able to walk, starring on the diamond runs in the family. His father, David Clements, was a ninth-round draft pick for 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 has committed to play baseball at South Florida Community College, where he will study business and communication. "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." GET TO KNOW WHO: Brett Clements AGE: 18 SCHOOL: Riverview High School GRADE: 12 SPORTS: Baseball FUTURE PLANS: Will play baseball at South Florida Community College and study business and communications
Reporter John Ceballos can be reached at (813) 627-4762.
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