With the spring baseball season upon us, Checotah Wildcats fans will look forward to seeing the name Butler a lot. Senior Brock Butler is one of six returning starters for the Wildcats at the third base spot while his coach (and dad) Tom will direct the attack.
“I’ve coached him all along the way and he’s a joy to coach,” said the elder Butler. “When he was young, he was a little slow and not very explosive, but he mastered the basics and as he grew he developed more speed and just got better, I think we balance the father/coach/son dynamic pretty well. Sometimes I think I may be a little harder on him and he’s used as an example a lot, but from my perspective I think we’ve handled it pretty well.”
A four-year starter, Butler also plays football for the Wildcats but his love for baseball is a natural.
“I’ve always been drawn more to baseball with my dad being the coach and I was around it so much and he’s always there to work with me.”
That time spent around the game is probably one his biggest assets according to his coach.
“His baseball IQ is probably his best attribute. He leads by example, but I’m try to get him to become a little more vocal this year as a senior.”
And Brock knows that with being a senior comes the leadership responsibility.
“I know as a senior I’ve got to be more of a leader this year and I think a good leader sets an example of hard work so everyone can see what it takes to succeed.”
Brock says he doesn’t have to look far to find a role model as he cites former Wildcat and Connors State Cowboy Kaleb Knight who is now in the Chicago Cubs AAA organization.
“I just like that he played here and has been able to get out and play on a higher level,” said Brock.
With two returning pitchers and a several other returning starters, Butler is hopeful that he can help get the Wildcats back on a winning track this year. He’s also got his sites set on a couple of team records in his final go-round.
“I’d like to break the single season batting record of .532 (he hit .500 last year) and the team doubles record of 20 (he had 13 last season).”
Brock says he’s had a couple of college workouts so far but there’s nothing definite yet for life after Checotah High.