Student-Athlete Spotlight

Off the grid to the diamond

Lance Opp will play college football but enjoys baseball now


Lance Opp has signed a letter of intent to play football next fall at Colorado State-Pueblo, but in the meantime, the Highlands Ranch senior is concentrating on baseball.

Opp, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, is a center fielder and pitcher for the Falcons and admits the sport isn't easy to play.

“Baseball is a different sport to play for sure,” said Opp. “I've played a lot of baseball. One of the hardest things I've done growing up is hit a baseball. I've played basketball and I throw the discus in track right now but I would say baseball is the most mental thing.

“I played on a very successful youth baseball team. I always loved winning and that aspect of it. Football is a grind on your body but baseball is very mental. That's one thing I've always loved. You get to relax mentally and it's a different kind of slow motion. It's got to be mental but you have to let go of your mentality.”

Key stats:

After six baseball games, Opp had a .353 batting average with seven runs scored and five stolen bases. He had pitched nine innings with one win, one save, 13 strikeouts and six walks. Last football season as a wide receiver, he caught 42 passes for 710 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coach's take:

`He's a great kid and a very solid player. We expect to rely on him pretty heavily throughout the season on the mound, in center field, and in the top part of our order. He is a very reliable kid who a lot of our team can look up to. We have a pretty good stable of pitchers and he is starting to position himself as one of our top guys.'

Joseph Gleason

Highlands Ranch baseball coach

Q&A with Lance Opp

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

Bo Jackson. He's one of the greatest athletes to play. He played baseball, football, and track. He has a good personality and wasn't a hot shot.

What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?

My parents. One thing my parents always taught me is just commitment to the sport. I go out and work on my own and that all comes from my parents. They are all about if you are going to do something, do it 100 percent.

What would be a perfect performance in baseball?

Individually, I would keep my pitch count low, throw strikes and get ground balls. Hitting wise, I am always a guy who hits line drives and having the aspect of killing the ball, just scoring runners and hitting the ball at the right place at the right place, getting counts deep in the at-bat. When it comes to fielding, just doing my best.

What is your favorite class in school and why?

I have always been someone who likes math. Also take accounting and that is pretty interesting. But my probably favorite class is economics

What do you like to do away from sports and school?

I love to hang out with my friends and my family. I go out on the golf course and just like to hang out a lot.

What is the toughest pitch for you to hit?

The hardest pitch to hit is a fastball ball that tails away from me. Otherwise I would say a changeup is very deceiving.

What pitch do you have the most confidence in delivering?

I definitely have confidence with my fastball. I throw a two-seam for sure. If it is to a righty, I will throw it away from a rightly and throw it away from a lefty.


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