If there was one thing Ethan Carlson wanted to do before the baseball season, it was have his college choice wrapped up.
The St. Cloud Apollo senior thought worrying about it last spring might have had something to do with his performance.
Carlson confirmed he has signed with Mayville State to continue his baseball career. It’s an NAIA school with a fine baseball tradition that has been recruiting him hard.
“I wanted to sign before my senior year so I could play and have fun,” Carlson said. “Last year, during high school season, I felt a lot of stress trying to perform.
“Hopefully, with this out of the way, I’ll have a better season for baseball.”
Mayville State assistant coach Pete Pratt is an Apollo and St. Cloud State graduate who was a star left-handed pitcher in both those programs. He also was an assistant at St. Cloud State before heading to Mayville, where he is beginning his fifth season.
Carlson said Pratt was the primary reason he is headed there.
“I visited last spring and went up Monday for a second visit,” Carlson said. “I committed verbally Monday and signed my papers Wednesday night.”
Mayville State won out over Concordia-St. Paul.
“I liked both of them either way,” Carlson said. “Neither school was a huge, huge school and the smaller class sizes mattered to me.”
Mayville is a town of 1,858 souls, according to the 2010 census.
Mayville is located in eastern North Dakota between Fargo and Grand Forks.
An outdoorsman, Carlson is fine with the small-town atmosphere.
“It’ll be a little different transition into a smaller town,” he said. “But the players on the team were talking about their hunting shacks, so I’m going to be able to hunt and fish.”
The Comets have been strong in baseball for a long time, having won 21 conference championships since Scott Berry became head coach in 1982.
Mayville State was 34-9-1 in 2013.
Carlson is a speedy outfielder who has started the past two seasons for the Eagles. He’s also playing football this fall for the Eagles, who were 3-0 heading into Friday night’s game at Brainerd.
Carlson has played running back and cornerback and been a fixture on special teams after not playing football the previous two years.
He’s also going to be a captain on the boys basketball team and a projected starting point guard.
“It sounds like I’ll be able to compete for a starting sport right away (at Mayville State),” Carlson said. “They like my speed and all that and a lot of my skill set.”
Carlson is looking at possible majors in business management, sports medicine or kinesiology. In other words, he’s undecided but looking forward to becoming a Comet in the fall of 2014.
“I’m excited about it,” Carlson said.