By Ray Hamill — Like the team he helped lead to a Big 5 championship this spring, Regan Wolfe isn’t one to back down from a challenge.
And that’s something that will serve him well as he prepares for the next big chapter in his life, both athletically and academically.
On Wednesday evening, the McKinleyville senior signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Lewis and Clark College after graduation, taking his talents to the NCAA Division-III level.
And for Wolfe, it was a perfect fit for several reasons.
“Lewis and Clark had everything I wanted in terms of my major and athletic endeavors,” he said. “And I was just blown away when I was there. The campus is beautiful and the coaching staff and everybody was just incredible. And just the overall environment.”
The outgoing Mack senior says he intends to major in Bio Chemistry with eyes on going to medical school and possibly becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
He was inspired to help others after undergoing hip surgery as a junior, before returning to the team with plenty of enthusiasm, his head coach Scott St. John recalled for the gathering of friends, family and teammates at the letter signing.
“This kid is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached,” St. John said. “His work ethic is definitely going to help him at the next level.”
Wolfe leaves in his wake a legacy few former Panthers can claim, having played a major role in helping his team to a Big 5 championship this year, the first outright for the program since 1996.
He’ll join a Pioneers program that competes in the Northwest Conference, and one that struggled to a 10-27 record this year.
Wolfe expects to play first base and some outfield for the Pioneers, but says he’s happy to contribute anywhere to get in the lineup.
He’s also looking forward to renewing an old rivalry with a friend of his, following in the footsteps of 2018 Eureka grad Ethan Fischel who plays baseball for Willamette in the same conference.
The outgoing senior will be missed at Mack High.
“He’s a great student and just a standup guy,” St. John said.
McKinleyville AD and Wolfe’s baseball coach for his first two years at the school, Dustin Dutra, echoed the sentiment, describing him as a “great student athlete.”
Wolfe thanked all of his teammates and friends, and in particular his parents for all their support, as well as his head coaches for all they taught him, “not only in terms of playing the game, but playing it right.”
He says that Lewis and Clark, a small private liberal arts school of around 2,000 students, reminded him of McKinleyville High.
“The small community is definitely important to me,” he said. “At McKinleyville it really felt as though we were one big family.”