By Nate Thompson
In an era when so many specialize in a single sport, and practice it year-round, Tyler Trovinger, Hunter Broersma and Elijah Wilson have put on a different uniform for the Sailors every season of their varsity careers.
All three played for the outstanding Mona Shores football squad, which has won two straight O-K Black Conference titles and advanced to the state finals in 2014.
In the winter Trovinger and Broersma have played varsity basketball while Wilson played varsity hockey.
Now they’re together for the final time in their senior season of varsity baseball, and everything is going great.
All three are having big seasons at the plate, Trovinger has been superb on the mound, and the Sailors are sporting an excellent 19-4 overall record.
When you also consider the performance of senior Collin Vaughan, a two-sport athlete, the senior skill index goes through the roof.
First-year Mona Shores baseball coach Brandon Bard thinks the seniors’ experience in other sports – particularly their success in football – is paying dividends on the baseball diamond.
“They’ve been through it with so many deep runs and all the big wins they’ve experienced in football,” Bard said. “They possess such good leadership. It’s easy for me to rely on them. It’s a group that simply thrives in pressure-packed situations. They just know how to take care of business in those tough situations.”
The poster child for the Mona Shores multiple-sport club is Trovinger, who has accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Division 1 Oakland University next season.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound shortstop and pitcher is leading Mona Shores in nearly every offensive statistical category this spring and should be an easy All-State selection. He was recently hitting .523 with nine doubles, two triples, four home runs and 32 RBs. On the mound, he’s thrived as the Sailors’ closer with three saves and a sub-one earned run average.
“Just hearing the baseball come off his bat,” Bard said, “it’s at a level above the other high school kids. The velocity of it coming off of his bat, it’s special to see. And defensively at short, he’s constantly communicating, moving kids around to the right spots . He’s like a quarterback out there defensively.”
It’s a role that’s Trovinger is used to, since he excelled leading Sailors’ read-option offense as the starting varsity football quarterback.
Despite all of the memorable games he’s played on the gridiron, Trovinger said his favorite high school athletic moment came in baseball on April 16, when he connected on a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning against defending state champion Muskegon Catholic.
Mona Shores went on to win the game, 4-3, in the eighth on a walk-off single by Broersma.
“Baseball has always been in the forefront for me,” said Trovinger, who also got the win on the mound against MCC, pitching all eight innings. “It was such a big game against Catholic, our rival, and for me, it was a big moment.”
Trovinger isn’t the only Sailor senior having a great spring.
Broersma, the center fielder who will play football next year at Western Michigan University, was recently hitting .394 with 24 RBIs, 14 walks and 13 stolen bases.
Wilson, the catcher, was recently hitting .352 with 13 RBIs, 15 walks and nine stolen bases.
Vaughan, the left fielder who also played varsity soccer in the fall, was recently hitting .469 with 17 RBIs, nine walks and five stolen bases.
Collectively they’ve scored well over 100 runs, illustrating their value to the Mona Shores attack.
Their play helped the Sailors win their fifth straight Greater Muskegon Athletic Association City Tournament title last weekend.
They have also helped keep the Sailors in the hunt for an O-K Black title. They are currently 7-2 in the conference, one game in the loss column behind first-place Zeeland East, with three games left against that team.
“These four kids have grown up so much over the years,” Bard said. “Constantly competing in baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and hockey – they have amazing resumes, and now they’re in their final month of high school athletics and they’re leaving it all out on the diamond.
“I couldn’t think of four better seniors to have for my first year at Mona Shores. They are four irreplaceable kids that I wouldn’t trade for anyone.”