Cole Borden didn’t have much free time after school during his days at Brownstown Central High School.

Borden played tennis, basketball and baseball throughout his four years there.

“I’ve played basketball and baseball since I was a little kid,” he said. “I started playing tennis in seventh grade.”

This past spring on the baseball diamond, Borden finished his third season as the Braves’ starting catcher.

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“I’ve never played anywhere besides catcher,” he said. “I started catching in minor league when I was 10 years old. I liked being the captain, being in charge of everybody. It’s like being the quarterback of the baseball field.”

The senior has called pitches for the pitchers the past two years.

“At the beginning of the lineup, you don’t want to throw many fastballs,” Borden said. “They will tee off on those, so you want to throw them mostly off-speed. Then, when you get to the bottom of the order, that is when you just want throw strikes, fastballs.”

Borden said it’s huge to get ahead in the count.

“If you fall behind in the count, they’re going to be sitting on a fastball, and that’s when they can hit them in the gaps,” he said.

When at the plate, Borden aggressively pursued hits.

“I love hitting the first pitch,” Borden said. “I always look first-pitch fastball. Depending on the situation, if there is a guy on second and a guy on third, I just try to do what is best for the team, hit one in the gap.

“When there is no one on, usually, they start me off with a curveball. When they get rattled and there are runners on base, that is when they throw me a first-pitch fastball.”

On the basketball court, Borden enjoyed the home games the most.

“I enjoyed playing in front of everybody, every game no matter what,” Borden said. “It was a packed house. Opponents would always talk about, ‘Man, you guys fill up.’ Yeah, that’s Brownstown basketball.”

During his freshman and sophomore seasons, Borden played point guard for the Braves. During the past two seasons, he played more of a shooting guard role.

He said he preferred playing on a wing instead of at the top of the key.

“I liked the left side on the wing and in the corner,” Borden said. “My main goal was to shoot 3s.”

Trapping, half-court defense was one of Borden’s favorite schemes.

“I liked the half-court trap where we’d get steals and be on the break, let our defense go on offense,” he said.

In the fall, Borden played No. 1 singles after filling the No. 2 singles spot the previous two seasons.

“There is a big difference,” he said. “My two years at No. 2, I didn’t have that high of competition. Then at No. 1 singles, I had a lot of close games, and the competition was a lot better.”

Winning the first set was important to Borden’s success.

“It’s important because if you lose the first set, you know you’re going to have to go three, and you’re going to have to endure or persevere,” he said. “You want to save your energy.”

For Borden, playing under coach Ron Slaton was a draw to the sport.

“I enjoyed coach Slaton the most,” Borden said. “He and I were pals. He is definitely one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had.”

While he didn’t have the most refined strokes, Borden played like a backboard.

“My strength would be keeping the ball in play,” he said. “I played corner to corner. My first serve was really hard, and it really depended on the match. If my serve was good, I usually won. My second serve wasn’t very hard, so that’s why I needed my first serve to go in.”

As a multisport athlete, Borden believes it’s important to practice like you play.

“If you don’t put in the work, you won’t be a varsity-level player. You don’t just get it handed to you,” Borden said. “You have to earn it because there are so many athletes that are good athletes.

“I think the biggest thing is to not get down on yourself if you’re having a bad game. The next-play mentality. If it does come to that situation, you’ll strive. You won’t be thinking about the last play. You’ll win the game for your team.”

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Name: Cole Borden

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Paul and Lee Ann Borden

Siblings: Seth and Kalee

Sports: Baseball, four years; tennis, four years; basketball, four years

Athletics honors: In tennis, most career wins, mental attitude award, MVP, all-conference; in basketball, sectional champion; in baseball, all-conference, leading hitter, defensive award twice

Plans after high school: Attend St. Joseph’s College and play baseball

Favorite away courts: Brown County

Favorite away gym: Charlestown

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “NCIS: Los Angeles”

Favorite musician: Kendrick Lamar

Favorite move: “42”

Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter

Favorite team: New York Yankees

Favorite book: “Heat” by Mike Lupica


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