SENIOR Feature: Michael Conte commits to Central Michigan University on baseball scholarship.


Courtesy of Michael Conte

SENIOR Michael Conte poses for a picture in his Midland baseball uniform, the team that would help him get looks from college scouts on his way to being recruited.

For the past three years SENIOR Michael Conte has been making his name known around baseball in the ECC as one of the best pitchers in the conference. On August 14, Conte announced that he would be continuing his academic and athletic career at Central Michigan University on scholarship for baseball.  

Conte has been pitching for the WHHS varsity baseball team since his freshman year. It’s safe to say since entering the league Conte has been nothing short of dominant. He pinpointed a moment in his sophomore season where, with the help of his pitching, the boys varsity team was able to sweep Loveland for the first time since Coach Jack Kuzniczci took over as head varsity coach. 

“My sophomore year, we started off the season really hot,” Conte said. “I started against West Clermont and got the win on a Monday, then I closed a game against Loveland on Friday to get our first sweep of them in Coach K’s tenure.”

Ever since that hot start to his sophomore season, Conte knew that he had a real shot at achieving his dream of playing baseball in college. He stated that his success is all thanks to coach Scott Stocker, a two time Cincinnati Hills baseball League (CHL) Coach Of The Year award winner and head pitching coach for the Midland Braves, Conte’s summer baseball team. 

“Hands down, Scott Stocker,” Conte said when asked about his biggest influence throughout the recruiting process, “Coach K connected me to him back in junior high. I worked with Coach Stocker all through the fall and winter, and he coached me during the summer. He both developed me as a baseball player and served as a reference to college coaches.” 

Seniors are required to choose a college to attend before their senior season starts. Therefore scouts heavily rely on numbers from the athletes’ junior seasons when deciding who gets a scholarship.

On March 13 WHHS was shut down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, just a few days before Conte and the varsity baseball team would take the field for their first game. 

“It was definitely a big impact. Because of COVID, Division 1 schools could not come out to watch games in person” Conte said. 

This created a moment of panic and uncertainty for many junior athletes for spring sports. Their goals of playing collegiate sports became that much harder with the loss of the most important season of their high school career. 

However Conte stayed calm and spent his quarantine trying to better prepare himself for his summer season with the Midland Braves, one of the most decorated club baseball teams in the state. 

“Not having a high school season was actually beneficial to me. It gave me more time to develop to get myself to a point that attracted college coaches. I was also fortunate enough to have a summer season, which allowed me to display the skills I had developed,” Conte said. 

SENIOR Michael Conte was one of the best pitchers in the ECC for Walnut but was just as dominant for the Midland Braves in 2020. (Courtesy of Michael Conte)

Conte was able to continue his dominance over the summer for Midland which was good enough for him to receive an offer from Central Michigan University to play D1 baseball. 

“I want to compete. Central Michigan gave me a unique opportunity to both compete for innings early on and compete with some of the best teams in the nation. Especially with this 2021 class that I am honored to be a part of, there is something special brewing up in Mount Pleasant,” Conte said. 

Conte was able to achieve his goals by working hard and staying focused and determined to achieve his dream. “You are the biggest factor in getting an opportunity to play college ball. Beyond physical skill, you have to promote yourself and get it done in the classroom. You will open so many more doors if you take care of your business,” Conte said. 

Conte will finish his long and dominant high school career this spring as a senior for the boys varsity baseball team, his fourth straight year on varsity. He is more than confident that WHHS will have one of the best varsity teams in school history in 2021 and the CMU commit will be at the forefront of the battle.