Teen Spotlight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2001


McCollum’s future geared toward sports GARYVILLE – Alex McCollum, a 15-year-old native of LaPlace who attended Garyville Magnet School last year, will be a freshman at East St. John High School this fall. After high school he wants to go to LSU and play collegiate baseball. “I always wanted to be an athlete,” he said, “and to play major league baseball someday.” McCollum played baseball at Garyville. “I pitch and I play centerfield,” he said. “I like centerfield the most, but pitching is what I mainly do. I am a good pitcher.” He also plays for LaPlace Little League, and this is his fifth year as an all-star player. “In baseball we have made state every time but once,” McCollum said. In describing how you get to play as an all-star he said, “This particular year, they had four teams consisting of 12 to 14 players and they ranged in age from 13 to 15.” “I play junior league,” he said. “Once you get about 12 years old you enter into the junior league and are drafted according to your statistics over the season.” Out of 48 kids, only 12 end up on an all-star team. “There are many factors that determine whether or not you make it on an all star team,” he explained. “It consists of being an all-around good player. It is based on your overall performance.” LaPlace Little League coach, Allen Weber Jr., thinks that if everything goes the right way McCollum could very well attain his goal for the majors. “He is a very good athlete and is easy to coach,” Weber said. “In the age group he’s in – 13- and 14-year-olds – he was the best pitcher out there. “In one of the games he had 14 strike outs. Also out of 34 batters he struck out 14 of them.” During the season, Mc-Collum’s batting average was .475 and he has a 75 percent on-base average. His parents, Rick and Susan McCollum, have encouraged his enthusiasm for baseball. McCollum assisted his father in coaching 9- and 10-year-olds at LaPlace Little League, the LaPlace Little League Phillies. “These little kids looked up to him so much – it was really neat,” his mother remembered, “and when Alex would have a game they would line the fence to watch.” McCollum, now an honor-roll student with a 3.7 grade point average, was described by Superintendent-elect Mich-ael Coburn as an “all-around great student and athlete, who has high morals and standards of excellence.” Besides baseball, McCol-lum also enjoys playing basketball, with the North of Airline Highway Recreation Organization, or NORA Boosters. “I also get together to play golf with my father and my friends at Riverland.” In school, he likes to learn about technical things. “Science is my favorite subject,” he said.