Sports

Wildcat junior brings talent to the field

Sam Wolfe steals second base in the AA American Legion Tournament against Stanwood. It’s 90 feet, or 30 yards from first to second base, and Wolfe ran a 3.68 second 30-yard dash in SPARQ testing, so stealing bases is not a problem for the Wildcat  speedster.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Sam Wolfe steals second base in the AA American Legion Tournament against Stanwood. It’s 90 feet, or 30 yards from first to second base, and Wolfe ran a 3.68 second 30-yard dash in SPARQ testing, so stealing bases is not a problem for the Wildcat speedster.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Ichiro’s speed and Kobe Bryant’s vertical, and the young man is only a junior in high school.

Oak Harbor High School’s Sam Wolfe is a Wildcat athlete who is going places — in a hurry.

During the summer, he was recommended by Wildcat baseball coach Tyson Van Dam to participate in SPARQ Testing at the Washington Northwest Prospect Games held a Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish.

SPARQ is an acronym for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness that was started in 2004 by Rudy Chapa as a way to create a standardized test for athleticism. Chapa’s plan was also to sell training equipment and methods to help improve performance on the field or the court.

Under the sponsorship of Nike, there are now more than 750 SPARQ Certified trainers throughout the country.

Wolfe, who plays centerfield on the varsity baseball team and also is a defensive halfback on the football team, said Van Dam invited him to participate in the program.

Approximately 40 athletes, all of them juniors in high school, took part in the testing.

“I was kind of excited to get my name in there,” Wolfe said. “Basically, they tested our speed, agility and vertical leap, and I did the best I could.”

Wolfe’s “best” included an incredible 3.68 30-yard dash and a 32-inch vertical leap.

His 30-yard dash time was the fastest to date in 2009 and he followed that up with a time of 6.58 seconds in the 60-yard dash. His 32-inch vertical was also the top score recorded.

Combined with a time of 4.34 seconds in the shuttle run, Wolfe’s total of 73.99 was the second highest rating of any athlete this year.

Wolfe has lived in Oak Harbor since he was in the first grade and came up through the North Whidbey Little League baseball program before advancing to A American Legion play.

This season he played centerfield on the successful Oak Harbor AA American Legion team that finished in fourth place before advancing to the playoffs.

His fellow outfielders, Yale Rosen and Shea Weaver, had nothing but praise for their speedy teammate.

“He gives me energy and makes me want to talk more when we’re out there,” said Rosen, who plays left field. “He is a natural leader that gets all of us going.”

“Sam is amazing, he covers a lot of ground,” Weaver, the Wildcat right fielder, added.

The recognition keeps on coming for Wolfe. In mid-August, he was selected to play on the Northwest Region team at the Pacific Northwest Championship in Portland, Ore.

Now it’s time for him to turn his talent to the gridiron.

“I played defensive back last year and hopefully I’ll be playing some fullback this season,” he said.

With Wolfe’s speed and leaping ability, look for the Wildcats to be throwing a few swing passes in the flat to the talented junior this football season.

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