Athlete of the Week: Blake Kirsch, Antigo - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Blake Kirsch, Antigo

On the diamond, Blake Kirsch stands out above the rest.

The six foot five inch, 280 pound first baseman has signed a national letter of intent to play football at Sioux Falls next fall. But for now, he's using his stature to find success on the baseball field this spring.

"It's a big strike zone," Kirsch said. "Bus as far as power, being a big guy really helps. Throwing your body weight into it. Or off the mound too... pushing off the rubber to try to get a little more velocity. That body weight helps a lot."

In addition to his power, Kirsch is also surprisingly nimble.

"He's super athletic," Dan Bastle, the head coach at Antigo, said. "For a big guy like that, he runs really well. He throws well. He has a lot of common sense."

So, don't let the size fool you. By all accounts, Kirsch can best be described as a gentle giant. The only things that rival his athletic ability on the field are his kindness and intelligence off of it.

"He's involved in the community... he's really just a mentor," Bastle said. "I think that's the one thing that probably sticks out the msot is he really understands the game well.

"He also understands life well," Bastle said. "And he really just does the right things."

Kirsch is active in Antigo's youth athletic programs, and said he enjoys coaching and mentoring younger athletes. It's something he hopes to continue.

"I would love to do the same thing in Sioux Falls," he said. "Visiting kids and trying to get them inspired. And trying to have them do what everyone else does."

Kirsch will attend Sioux Falls on a football scholarship next fall.
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