by Beau Wicker
Not often is a standout offensive lineman in football also a standout swimmer.
But that’s the case with Lewis Cass senior Connor Adams.
The 6-1, 225-pound Adams has been a stalwart on the Kings’ offensive line in football, and he’s also the top swimmer on the boys swim team.
“Usually in swimming long and lean usually means fast, but Connor proves that you can have some muscle, too, and muscle can get through the water just as fast,” Cass boys swim coach Brian Thomas said. “Football players usually come to swim to stay in shape for baseball season coming up in the spring, but Connor’s definitely the exception.”
To top it off, Adams is one of the Kings’ leading returning pitchers in baseball.
Adams was the Kings’ starting center in football and earned All-Loganland honors this past season. He was a three-year starter for the Kings, who went 11-2 and won a sectional title this fall.
“He’s a guy who made himself into a very good football player,” Cass football coach Scott Mannering said. “He’s one of the really good senior leaders we had this year.”
Adams said his best event in swimming is the 500-yard freestyle. His goal is to break 5:30 in the 500 free and 2:00 in the 200 free.
“Our goal for him is to make the podium not only at conference but also at the sectional in Warsaw,” said Thomas, who praised Adams’ work ethic. “He’s such a workhorse. ... He’s leading every single lap that we swim in practice. He’s leading the team as an upperclassman. We’ve got a relatively young team, we don’t have a lot of seniors this year. He’s done a real good job of getting these younger swimmers to not only show up to practice but to swim hard as well. You couldn’t have any better example to work hard than him.”
Adams pitched mainly out of the bullpen for the Kings last season. He went 2-2 with one save, and allowed just two earned runs in 33 innings pitched for a 0.12 ERA. He fanned 28 and walked 17.
With the Kings’ top two pitchers from a year ago having graduated in Andrew Daggett and Keegen Key, there’s a good chance Adams will have an expanded role this spring.
“I feel like I’ve put more time in pitching in the barn this offseason,” Adams said. “I’ve improved my curveball accuracy and my fastball has been good. I’m trying to add a changeup and trying to perfect my curveball. If I can, I can be a pretty tough pitcher to hit again.”
The Kings went 19-8 last season in baseball, and Adams expects the club to be strong again this spring.
“We’ve got a lot of key players back. We lost some key ones, too,” he said. “If we have some kids step up to fill roles we’ll be just fine.”
The following is a question-and-answer session with Adams.
Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?
A. Football. It takes 11 teammates working as one unit to achieve a common goal.
Q. How did you first get started in sports? At what age?
A. I started playing baseball at the age of 4.
Q. Do you have any family members who played sports?
A. My father [Zach] won state in the 100 butterfly at Kokomo. My mother [Lisa] was a Huntington Tip-Off All-Star in girls basketball and is a member of the Cass Hall of Fame.
Q. Have you ever played a sport that you were not successful at?
A. My first year of swimming was not successful for me. I worked hard to better myself and became a competitor.
Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?
A. I am overall an average athlete, but through hard work I was able to better my skills.
Q. Who do you consider your biggest role model? Why?
A. My grandmother, Diane Huston, fought cancer for three long years.
Q. What experiences have you had in sports have made you the athlete you are today?
A. All the long hours on the practice field.
Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?
A. I am a certified lifeguard.
Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?
A. Winning a sectional title my senior year in football.
Q. What’s your favorite music, movie, TV show, etc.?
A. Music: classic rock: Movie: Shawshank Redemption. TV show: Alaskan Gold Rush. Book: Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. Team: Chicago White Sox.
Q. Who is the best athlete in your respective sport you’ve ever gone up against?
A. My mom and dad, when we would play games in the yard.
Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?
A. To attend college to study radiation therapy.
Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.