Baseball Player of the Year

Leaving an Athenian Legacy

Crawfordsville’s Cale Coursey’s dominating senior season earns him JR baseball Player of the Year


Every athlete wants their senior season to be their best and go out on top. For Crawfordsville ace Cale Coursey, it’s safe to say he was able to do just that. After suffering a season-ending injury last season, Coursey was forced to watch from the dugout as his Athenians missed the presence of one of their top players. From the moment he was cleared last summer until now, Coursey has been using last season as added motivation and drive. It resulted in a special senior season, that while ended sooner than most Athenian fans wanted, was still one to remember.

It’s not that Coursey is just a great pitcher, he got it done with his bat as well for Crawfordsville this past spring. On the mound the senior hurler compiled a record of 8-2 in 64.2 innings this season in 12 starts. He struck out 101 batters and only gave up 39 hits to the tune of a 1.41 ERA. Opposing hitters hit just .168. With the bat Coursey hit a blistering .441 with 41 hits, nine of which were for extra bases with five doubles, two triples, and a home-run. He led the Athenians with 32 RBI’s and in 93 at-bats, struck out just six times.

“I worked my tail off to get to where I am now especially coming back from that injury last year,” Coursey said. “As a pitcher you have to have the ‘I’m better than you’ mentality every single time. Being able to show that basically every time I stepped on the mound along with being able to pitch with a swagger, I think that’s when I was at my best.”

Crawfordsville had another 20-win season under their belts and it was large in part due to the play of Coursey who was also rewarded with being named First-Team All Sagamore Conference. Cville coach Brett Motz saw the success that his senior had and knows that while Coursey should be proud of his achievements, his star pitcher is always looking on how to take his game to the next level.

“Those who tend to have the most success are constantly finding ways to get even better,” Motz said. “Cale falls directly into that. Perfection is almost impossible to achieve in baseball or in life for that matter, but I know that he will do all that he can to keep trying to get there. A huge part of Cale’s game was his mental approach this season. That’s a part of the game that can get away from some of the good players. He had some ups and some downs but that only made him get stronger mentally.”
Coursey was able to put it all together in his final season of high school baseball. For that he is rewarded with the title of the 2023 Journal Review Baseball Player of the Year.

When the Coursey family moved here to Crawfordsville from Illinois three years ago it did take a minute for Cale to adjust to his new team and new surroundings. But after a short time passed, Coursey realized that he was right where he belonged.

“When I met coach Motz and coach (Rhett) Welliever, I knew that this was a place where I was going to get to grow as a pitcher,” Coursey said. “Of course when you move to a new place you’re always a little skeptical at first, but last year’s senior group really showed me that I can be myself and they were a big reason for why I was able to have the success that I did.”

The pressure of being a high-level high school pitcher never seemed to get to Coursey. When he did allow runners to reach, he seemed to thrive in the pressure situations. He was able to strand 57 base runners this past season. Motz noted how his senior ace made the most of his opportunities and was able to find success in almost any scenario.

“All of our players put a lot of time and energy into this game and Cale’s right at the top of that list,” Motz said. “He went above and beyond what it takes to be a great high school player. Having the added motivation from last season along with that he knows he can take his game to another level, there’s a certain level of drive and determination with him that you don’t see in many players.”

Coursey will continue his baseball career at Parkland Junior College next season with the goal of spending a year there before moving on to Division I Illinois State. At points this season it was evident that the college decision process was taking a toll on him. However once Coursey made his college choice, that’s when he was able to pitch not only freely, but also some of his best baseball of the season. In his first game on the mound after making his decision, against county rival North Montgomery, Coursey threw a complete game shutout in which he allowed just two hits and struck out 11 Chargers.

“Before I made college decision, I felt like I was pitching and had to be perfect since there were people watching me,” Coursey said. “After that I was just able to throw and enjoy the final few weeks of my senior season.”

Crawfordsville is obviously well-known from their rich history of producing talented arms and Coursey now gets to be a member of that list. While it may not be something that he thinks about often, Coursey will be remembered for quite sometime in CHS baseball.

“It’s crazy to really sit down and think about it,” Coursey said of his accomplishments. “I don’t choose to look at it that way. While wearing this Crawfordsville uniform, I did the best I could to be the best for this school and our team. That’s what I want to be remembered for.”