Powers Captains the Cougars as a Junior
Callen Powers is certainly making his presence felt as a member of the Haddam- Killingworth baseball team this spring. In fact, Callen’s leadership has impressed Head Coach Mark Brookes so much that H-K’s skipper named the junior as one of the captains of the club.
A right-handed pitcher and versatile infielder, Callen has helped the Cougars win their last three games to improve to 4-2 this year. Callen is leading H-K as a junior captain in tandem with senior catcher Nick Glynn.
“I think this year has gone well so far, and a lot of guys are stepping up for our team. We have a young team, but we have shown a lot of toughness through the first couple of weeks,” says Callen. “I’m so proud of our guys, and I think we’re only going to improve as a team. It feels like a true family at Haddam-Killingworth, and that’s going to help us in the later part of the season. I am excited to see how our season plays out.”
Two of Callen’s best performances of the young season came in back-to-back games last week. Callen closed out H-K’s 10-5 win versus East Hampton and then tossed a complete game when the Cougars notched a 5-4 victory over Old Lyme.
Callen pitched a combined 8.1 innings in the two contests, allowing just 2 earned runs to go with 8 strikeouts. All in all, Callen has a record of 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 12.3 innings of work this spring.
Callen’s favorite aspect of baseball is the competition. Callen loves to compete and give it his all while going up against other athletes who like doing the same.
“The game is full of 1-on-1 competition, and I think it creates so much excitement when I play,” Callen says. “I have been playing since I was around five years old, and I always just loved to be out on the field playing. I always wanted to keep playing, and I always couldn’t wait for baseball season.”
As he enjoys the experience of competing in high school, Callen reflects fondly on his days of playing ball at Jail Hill Field while coming up through the Haddam Little League program.
“I would say playing in the Haddam Little League at Jail Hill all the time was something I look back on and always appreciate and love,” says Callen. “My formative years of just learning to love the game is really special for myself.”
Callen credits Coach Brookes for helping him develop his skills as a baseball player. Callen says that it’s been highly beneficial to learn from a coach with as much experience as Brookes.
“My relationship with Coach Brookes is something that I really cherish. Being able to learn from one of the best baseball minds and coaches is something not many can say,” Callen says. “He is someone I have looked up to for a very long time, and it’s an absolute honor to be able to call him my coach.”
In turns, Coach Brookes describes Callen as one of the toughest players on H-K’s roster and a commendable captain for the Cougars.
“Callen is a very versatile infielder, as well as a gutsy and tough pitcher,” says Brookes. “He has committed to UMass and was recently inducted to the National Honor Society. He’s a great kid.”
For Callen, entering the H-K baseball program at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a freshman changed his perspective on both the game and life in general. After seeing his freshman campaign get canceled, Callen has learned to never to take a moment for granted. Now that things have returned to a sense of normalcy, Callen feels relieved and is cherishing every second that he’s out there on the ballfield.
“Being back out on the field with my team has taken a lot of stress off of what we have gone through, and I believe a lot of people can say the same,” Callen says. “However, playing through the pandemic was very tough in the past couple of years.”
In addition to playing baseball, Callen is a member of the National Honor Society and a founding member of the Diversity and Equity Group at Haddam-Killingworth. He also served as a captain of the boys’ basketball team this winter. While he’s still in his junior year, Callen has already decided to continue his baseball career at UMass-Amherst after he graduates from high school.
“I am very excited to be committed to play ball at UMass-Amherst next year,” says Callen. “It’s a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”