Juneau-Douglas senior outfielder and pitcher Alex Campbell realizes the big shoes he and his teammates have to fill after last season’s 21-0 (in state) team that went on to win the state championship. He also recognizes this year’s Bears team (7-1, 3-0) may not be so bad itself.
Campbell, who typically bats fifth in the lineup for JDHS as one of the two corner outfielders, is also a tennis standout for the Bears. The diehard New York Yankees fan excels in math, is planning on attending the Cal Poly College of Engineering this fall and values his time spent “hanging out” with friends.
Do you play any other sports besides baseball?
“I play tennis, and this year I tried basketball for the first time. I definitely take baseball a lot more seriously, and it’s probably the most important to me because I’ve been playing it the longest. But I have a lot of fun with all sports. I played basketball because I wasn’t doing anything at the time, and even though I’d never really picked up a basketball before, I thought I might try it out. I had a great experience. Basketball made me faster and tennis definitely helped with arm strength, so both sports carried over to help me with baseball.”
What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t playing sports?
“Hang out with friends and enjoy this last year I have in Juneau. I like to take advantage of what we have here. I like fishing, playing golf, camping and I just picked up Frisbee golf.
What are your academic interests?
“I’m going into engineering next year, and that was kind of sparked by my interest in math. Math has been something that I’ve been able to pick up pretty easily, so I’ve decided to try it out as a career. Right now, I’m also having fun with ceramics. I’ve been making bowls, plates and trying new things.
What’s your plan after you graduate?
“I’m planning to attend Cal Poly College of Engineering in San Louis Obispo (Calif.). Right now, I’m thinking of majoring in general engineering until I figure out a more specific field. I’ve always been pretty good at math and science, and the concept of applying those skills to make something or do something positive interested me.
“In June, four other friends and myself are taking a two-and-a-half week road trip down to Arizona and back. We’re going to see some baseball games along the way, with stops in Seattle, San Francisco, two games in (Los Angeles), San Diego and Phoenix. I think this trip will be a great way to cap off my high school career.”
Do you follow baseball at the professional level?
“I do. I follow the Yankees mostly. I start watching and paying closer attention toward the end of the year. My dad’s from New York, so I started watching them from a young age. It’s tough being a fan of a team that everyone loves to hate. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only Yankee fan in town, but it doesn’t bother me, and I don’t mind being that guy.”
What’s going to be important for this team to repeat as state champs after losing seven seniors from last season?
“We did lose a lot and this year’s team doesn’t have much varsity experience. But all of this year’s seniors had a chance to learn from last year’s seniors, and I think that’s benefited us all. Everyone needs to step up and take on some responsibility and work together.
“We just had a really good weekend and I think that was a real boost of confidence for the team. I think if we can keep up that tempo, we can hopefully do well in regions and move on to state. The ultimate goal is of course a state championship, but there are a lot of steps in between that we need to take care of first.”