Calm Competitor

As Trevor Connell sits on the couch in his family’s living room, he looks completely at ease. His relaxed posture portrays a young man that is comfortable in his own skin, and his easygoing demeanor makes him instantly likeable. However, behind this mellow disposition lies an intense competitor.

Dixie High Class of 2016 Baseball 4.0GPA

Trevor, now a senior, has been the starting catcher for Dixie High School’s varsity baseball team since his sophomore year. This past summer, while competing with the Dixie team during the off season, Trevor was named the All-Tournament Pitcher after pitching a no-hitter in the St. George Summer Classic. Additionally, Trevor’s Mountain West team was named the All-Tournament Team in the Senior Fall Classic tournament. During that same tournament, Trevor achieved at batting average of .400.

Baseball is a year round sport for Trevor. He plays with the Dixie High team during the regular and off seasons, with SBA, and in the Mountain West tournaments. When asked what keeps him motivated he answers, “Competition. I just try to be better than the person next to me.” In fact, competition is what Trevor likes best about baseball. “I like just working hard at something and getting really good at it and outdoing other people.”

Playing year round and practicing daily can have its drawbacks. Before the high school baseball season began his junior year, Trevor injured his back through overuse while practicing pitching and catching.

“Last year I hurt my back really bad,” he says. “It kept spasming and stuff all of the off season.”

“What was happening,” says Trevor’s mother, Dana, “was that the back muscle got so tight that every time he would try to rotate it, it would send pain up his back. He couldn’t do the batting motion or throwing motions without being in pain.”

The toughest part about the injury was trying to slow down. “I tried to do stuff, but it just kept getting worse.” After several months of physical and massage therapy, Trevor was healed enough to begin the regular season, but not without reservations. “I had to go into the regular season kind of a little unprepared,” he says.

But Trevor is starting the upcoming season with confidence. He anticipates he will play both catcher and pitcher for the Flyers. “Pitching is more fun,” Trevor says of his prospects, “but I’m better at catching. Plus, I’ve done it forever.”

Trevor began playing on club teams at the age of nine, and had great success with the Nevada Wildcats and the Southern Utah Select. He credits much of his success to his father, Steve. When asked who he would consider to be his baseball mentor, Trevor replies, “My Dad over anyone.”

“Pitching is more fun,” Trevor says of his prospects, “but I’m better at catching. Plus, I’ve done it forever.“

Steve has coached Trevor throughout his youth, and as Dana reports, spent “hours and hours and hours” helping Trevor hone both his pitching and catching skills.

Trevor says that he and his father share many of the same interests, and Trevor is planning to follow his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in law enforcement. “He would do well at it,” Dana says. “He has a good temperament to be successful at it.”

Trevor, a 4.0 student, is currently working to keep his grades up for college admissions and training to be an EMT through the Dixie Applied Technology College. “I hope to work as an EMT while I am in college,” he says. Right now he is leaning toward attending Dixie State University for his undergraduate studies.

Photo by Robert Hoppie

Trevor works hard to improve his game, and this commitment to excellence carries over into his academic life. “He’s had a really strong work ethic when it comes to school,” Dana says, adding that he has excellent time management skills. “When he’d get home from school he’d sit down and get his homework done because he knew he had to get on to the next thing.”

Trevor adds, “It’s hard to balance stuff out, but at the same time it makes you work harder, so you never switch it off. Once you’re in the groove, you’re in the groove.” Trevor describes himself as a “doer”. It is easy to see why when we look at how busy his life is with high school, sports, and EMT classes. With his solid work ethic, determination to improve, and competitive spirit, one might wonder how Trevor remains so mellow and, as his younger brother describes him, relaxed.

“His personality is so even,” says Dana. “It takes a lot to get him riled up about stuff. He doesn’t usually react to things in a negative way. It’s usually even keel.”

“It’s hard to balance stuff out, but at the same time it makes you work harder, so you never switch it off. Once you’re in the groove, you’re in the groove.”

During games, when the stakes are high, Trevor still keeps his emotions balanced. “He can be intense,” says Dana, noting that if the game shifts not in his favor his intensity level will rise. Even then, “It takes a lot to get him to show emotion,” she says.

His even temperament has been noticed by other players and officials. “One of the umpires in Vegas complimented him and said that he was one of the most composed pitchers he had ever seen,” Dana notes. This ability to be even tempered probably helps during the highs and lows of the season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any excitement in Trevor’s life. One of his most memorable baseball moments came while playing catcher at a Mountain West scrimmage. Trevor had the ball and was preparing to make the tag while the runner was heading in at full speed. The two collided leaving Trevor unconscious on the ground for a few seconds.

An even more memorable moment for Trevor (and much more positive) happened last summer playing with the Dixie High team during the off season. “I hit a really big home run at Dixie State’s field,” he says with a smile, “and that is a really big field! I never hit a ball that far in my entire life.”

With his easygoing personality, strong work ethic, and competitive drive, it seems that Trevor will be able to hit many metaphorical and literal home runs throughout his future. • HSSI