Since he liked running cross-country and playing golf and basketball in elementary school, Clayton Pottschmidt said he knew he wanted to continue those sports when he attended Trinity Lutheran High School.
“I knew coming in, I wanted to play all three,” he said. “I just really enjoyed all of them.”
The Cougars played home golf matches at Shadowood Golf Course, and Pottschmidt said he likes the course’s number of long, straight fairways.
“It plays to my game,” he said. “I’m pretty much a long hitter, so I like the open course. My longest drives are probably about 280 (yards).”
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Pottschmidt said he likes the front nine better than the back.
“I guess both sides have the same amount of out-of-bounds, but I think it plays better for my game,” he said of the front.
On the greens, Pottschmidt said he has a lot of confidence in his putting.
“That’s how I get a good round, by making my eight-footers (while putting),” he said. “I usually stay out of the sand, so I don’t have to worry about it. My irons are good. My chipping comes and goes, but normally it’s pretty good.”
With winds blowing throughout the season, Pottschmidt has to adjust his game.
“You’ve got to hit lower or higher or into it depending on how it is blowing,” Pottschmidt said. “It kind of depends on where you’re hitting it. If you’re hitting the ball to the right, then you’ve got to aim more left. But the next day, it could be totally different, so you’ve just got to play it out. The weather can change your round completely.”
Pottschmidt’s low scores have been 42 for nine holes and 89 for 18 holes.
When Pottschmidt stepped on the basketball court, he played a versatile role.
“I guarded a lot of different people,” Pottschmidt said. “I guarded big guys, small guys, and I played in the middle.”
Pottschmidt, who is right-handed, said he preferred to take the ball to the basket or shoot short jumpers as opposed to shooting 3-pointers.
When the Cougars set up in their half-court offense, he said he didn’t have a preference of setting up on either the right side or left side.
With his height, at 6-foot-1, the Cougars counted on Pottschmidt for rebounding and defense.
“I blocked out and tried to go hard every play,” Pottschmidt said. “I enjoyed playing man-to-man. I just kind of enjoyed being more into it, I guess, instead of standing around.”
This past fall, Pottschmidt rotated between the No. 3 or No. 4 positions for the Cougars in cross-country. His career-best time was 19:48.
When he got to Trinity, Pottschmidt had to adjust because the races went from 2.5 miles to 3.1.
“I had to pace myself a little different,” he said. “I didn’t mind little hills. Big hills were a little different.”
The hilliest course he ran was at Rising Sun, Pottschmidt said.
“It’s a mountain,” he said. “It’s the toughest course we run, but I really like that course. I liked Hardy Lake. Bedford seemed like it was really hot.”
To achieve success in three sports, Pottschmidt spent a lot of time mastering his athletics.
“Practice in all of them is very important,” Pottschmidt said. “Without practice, you wouldn’t be any good at any of them. You’ve got to go out there and work hard every day.
“In basketball, you’ve got other people you can depend on if you’re not having your best game. But for golf, it’s you against the course. You’re really not playing against anybody else. You’ve got to improve your next shot. There is nothing you can do about the last one.”
Name: Clayton Pottschmidt
School: Trinity Lutheran High School
Parents: Dale and Teresa Pottschmidt
Siblings: Josh and Tyler
Sports: Golf, four years; basketball, four years; cross-country, four years
Athletics highlights: In golf, Cougar Award twice; in cross-country, Cougar Award twice; in basketball, defensive award, sectional champions in 2014
Organizations: FFA, 4-H
Plans after high school: Attend Ivy Tech Community College
Favorite away course: Belterra Golf Club
Favorite away gym: Switzerland County
Favorite cross-country course: Brown County
Favorite food: Country fried steak
Favorite athlete: Phil Mickelson
Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts