Athlete steps up to the plate

Sophomore Tyler Polk is a multi-sport student athlete who verbally committed to Oklahoma State University (OSU) last fall to play baseball.

Polk began his baseball journey at age 3 for a youth league in Duncan. He played for Duncan youth leagues until he was 10, and then he started playing for traveling teams.

The first traveling team he played for was the The Benchwarmers, a Duncan and Comanche team.

“I loved playing, and I knew I wanted to play as much as I possibly could,” Polk said.

As he got older, he began playing for Oklahoma Elite. He played on this team for four years. They then changed their name to the Midwest Elite, which Polk played on for one year.

Polk also played out of state for the Tennessee Knights for one year, and he played for the Houston Banditos last year. He traveled to states such as Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and South Carolina to play for these teams.

By playing in these leagues, he was more prepared to play in high school and beyond.

“I had seen teams that competed at a higher level for so long that playing against kids that were older didn’t really affect me,” Polk said.

At times he would be gone for weeks at a time to play out of state.

“That’s the bad part,” Polk said. “I’d be home maybe two days a week, if that. There would even be times I would be gone for a full month. I miss a lot of summer practices for football, but I end up working it out.”

When he started playing at the high school level, he was already good enough to make the starting line-up as a freshman pitcher and outfielder. Polk was recognized as the Newcomer of the Year.

He was then selected to play in divisional games where representatives from all across the state of Oklahoma hand-pick a select few high school players that are freshmen through juniors to play for a specific region. They then play kids from other regions from all over Oklahoma. Polk played for the southwest region.

Division I coaches and scouts from schools such as Oklahoma State attended these games, and it did not take long for Polk to catch their eye.

“I played in the Oklahoma State games, and they saw me pitch there,” Polk said. “And then I pitched in a tournament at OCU (Oklahoma City University) and they saw me pitch again.”

He will be able to officially sign with Oklahoma State after his junior year.

Along with baseball, he is also a wide receiver and corner for the football team, and runs the 100 and the 200 for track on days when the meets and his baseball games do not coincide.

Polk is looking forward to the rest of this season and to see what his future has to hold.