Size just part of Mikell's success

Size just part of Mikell's success

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Size just part of Mikell's success

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HINESBURG

From leading the Williston 11- and 12-year-old all-star Little League baseball team to a memorable run in the summer of 2008 to helping Champlain Valley seize the Division I high school title last year, Davis Mikell has been in the spotlight for several years.

And he’s always been the biggest kid in the group, now at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds.

Those physical gifts, however, don’t tell the full story of Mikell’s career, one that’s continued an upward climb from his Little League days to the high school ranks.

“Just because you are the biggest, doesn’t mean you’re the best,” said Mikell, a senior who also played football at CVU. “Look at football, you can be big and strong, but if you don’t know the playbook, it’s not going to pan out.

“Hard work and desire to win and helping other kids translated for me from Little League to this,” Mikell said.

That work ethic and love of the game has led Mikell to earn a partial scholarship to play baseball next year at Southern New Hampshire, a Division II school that competes against St. Michael’s in the Northeast-10 Conference.

“I made the college decision about a month ago. For the most part, I wanted to stay in the New England or New York area,” Mikell said. “Right now, it’s all about baseball.”

The Redhawks’ ace with a 2-1 record, .52 earned-run average, 37 strikeouts and two saves in 19 innings of work, Mikell is also a big bat in the middle of the order. Prior to Thursday’s win vs. Burlington, Mikell was hitting .455 with a home run in 27 plate appearances.

“He’s a very large part of our ballclub, one of our captains and an integral part of the pitching staff when it comes to camaraderie,” CVU coach Tim Albertson said. “He’s one of those guys, when he’s on, the guys are really confident.”

While his physical presence looms large, Mikell is more of a gentle giant, a laid-back but focused player who puts in the time for his leadership role.

“In general, he’s a very fun guy and he takes baseball seriously,” Albertson said. “He gets the guys to realize it’s not life or death, but that it’s also an opportunity to make yourself better by working hard.”

One of six seniors on a roster filled with sophomores and juniors, Mikell’s contributions as a leader and production on the field are vital in CVU’s chase for a repeat crown in a parity-filled Metro league.

“We are looking to win another one, not calling it a title defense,” Albertson said. “And it’s going to take more than just him, but he’s definitely a big part of it.”

A humble Mikell agreed.

“In baseball you have eight other guys out there. It’s not like the ball is going to be hit to you every time or you are going to get a strikeout every time or get a hit every time up. You have to trust your teammates,” Mikell said.

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