As the athletes he looked up to in the community committed to various colleges throughout the years, Sy Zickler decided that one day he wanted to be that ballplayer.
“Over the years, I’ve seen people in the newspaper signing to college,” Zickler said. “Ever since the sixth or seventh grade. It drove me to someday be in that position.”
Wednesday, the Brownstown Central senior kept the promise he made to himself and signed to play baseball at Clark State Community College.
Clark State, in Springfield, Ohio, is a part of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.
“I first talked to Sy when he came and visited around a month ago,” Eagles coach Chase Brown said. “What really impressed me that he was more interested in the academic aspect of it. He seems like a good fit and his drive and willingness to succeed will fit in well at Clark State.”
Brown said he expects Zickler to immediately get playing time at third base for the Eagles — a nod considering 30 to 35 freshmen are expected to come out this upcoming season.
“I know he can play first, but we need a third basemen this year,” Brown said. “We have a lot of guys moving to four-year programs, so we’re looking to get his bat in the lineup and at third base.”
In high school, Zickler has played first base, third base and pitched.
Zickler said that one of his best memories thus far is winning a sectional championship last spring.
He also spends his summer playing for the Indiana Braves, a travel team based out of Avon.
Playing time proved a big factor for Zickler’s decision making.
“Everyone there is freshmen and sophomores. Going there, the coach said I will have a pretty good chance to play,” Zickler said. “I really loved the town of Springfield, too. Playing time was probably the biggest thing.
“I hope to come in right away and be a producer. I want to be successful right away. Eventually I would like to transfer to a nice four-year school and do well there as well.”
Over his high school career at Brownstown, two years on varsity, Zickler has 44 hits (13 for extra bases), 29 RBI and 21 runs with a batting average of .321.
“He has a power bat,” Braves coach John Lawson said. “Defensively, his arm has gotten even stronger. Last year, he kind of became our main third baseman and did a really nice job.”
Pitching, Zickler has a 6-2 record with 12 appearances on 48.1 innings pitched. He has an ERA of 2.46 with 31 strikeouts, 17 earned runs, 18 his and 12 walks.
Those numbers are set to improve before graduating from Brownstown Central.
“(Zickler) is a baseball kid,” Lawson said. “He had a really successful tennis career, but baseball is his thing. I think his passion for the game, and willingness to work at it, pays off.”
Zickler plans on studying business administration management for an associates degree before transferring to get his bachelors in a related field.