Thursday, March 21, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Dan James & Chasen Ford – El Toro High School 2013 Graduates

From a similar start in Little League baseball, Dan James and Chasen Ford followed varied paths to successful high school baseball careers, college scholarships in the sport they both love.

Dan James and Chasen Ford were both highly regarded baseball players at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA. Dan is now a utility infielder at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and Chasen is a pitcher for Yale University in New Haven, CT. They both had their best seasons during their junior year. Dan batted .364 with 4 home runs and 25 RBIs, and Chasen went 11-0 with a 1.06 ERA in the 2011-2012 season.

Dan and Chasen started playing the game of baseball as young kids in little league. Dan has always been self-motivated in the sport and has always committed himself to improving and moving up to the next level. Conversely, Chasen didn’t decide that baseball would be his primary focus until the summer between his sophomore and junior years at El Toro, after which his performance exploded. Both of the guys said their fathers and coaches were their biggest influences in deciding to play the game and develop their play. Dan’s father coached him from a young age, always encouraging him to continue playing as long as he kept having fun doing so. Chasen’s father pushed him a little harder to stick with the sport, and Chasen credits a high school coach with his love of pitching.

They each received numerous accolades for their high level of play at El Toro, but Dan and Chasen both believe their most meaningful award came directly from their team. After his first year on the varsity team at El Toro, Chasen was named Rookie of the Year. He explained that the team’s recognition provided him with affirmation that he could succeed as a pitcher, as he and others were unsure of his ability to perform at that position before the season. The same year, Dan was named MVP of the El Toro varsity baseball team. He appreciated the award the most because it was voted on by his teammates, demonstrating that he was valued as a leader in the dugout. Dan elaborated on the importance of the award by explaining that it was more important to be part of the team than to put up big numbers at the plate.

To read the rest of this article, check out the Spring 2014 issue in High School Illustrated – South Orange County for iPad, completely free on the App Store.

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