Mainly known for starring on the football field, Greenbrier East junior, Ian Cline doubles as a baseball player in the spring and has developed his reputation in both sports.
Cline, a running back on the gridiron and outfielder in baseball, always gives a 110 percent effort and leaves everything he has on whatever field he happens to be on that day, but no matter which one it is, there is one sport that is constantly on his mind.
“I don’t quit thinking about football, especially with college camps and combines and other things of that sort. Right after baseball ends, I have to stay training and lifting to keep up and keep improving,” Cline stated.
Cline was recently recognized as a preseason top 5 running back in the state and explains how his days with a pigskin in his hands helps him when he has to swing a bat and catch fly balls.
“I think they translate very well to each other, especially with the positions I play in both,” Cline said.
“I have to be very fast, quick and explosive in both of them. Balance is a big thing in both as well. Baseball consists of a lot of acceleration and quickness which is exactly what a good running back needs to reach the next level,” he explained.
Each of his coaching staffs he spends half the school years with have helped and taught Cline little intricacies of how to become a better athlete, what type of work to put in and how to act off the field, and with Cline being extremely coachable, he takes those lessons to heart and puts them to use on his own time.
“Coach Mann has done a really good job with preparing and helping my mental side of the game and he has helped me a lot with my weightlifting and explosive concentrated movements. Coach Lee, as well as the rest of the football staff, have helped me with learning the game more in depth and not only being a good student-athlete but also a good human and man in today’s society,” Cline said.
Cline also has strong family ties. His cousin is Eli Allen, the Evans award winner in basketball from James Monroe. His other cousin, Brody Davis is a sweet shooting guard at Morgantown High School. Both Allen and Davis just won state titles in basketball and Cline says that while each of them are always very happy with one another’s performances, the backyard battles can get pretty competitive.
“There is not really a direct competition on who can be the best in their own sports, but we obviously are very competitive and want to be the best player we can be, but being the best in the family is my direct goal,” Cline said.
“We definitely keep in touch with each other and are very close. If one of us has a good game, we always post about the other person or text each other about the game. I will say however, when we meet up with an outdoor basketball court, we do get very competitive and rough at some times, but we love each other at the end of it,” he added.
As for this baseball season, Cline sees big potential for his Spartans.
“I think we have a really good, solid team this year, so my big goal would go win a state championship. If we can lock our pitching in there is a good shot will make it to Charleston this year. If I had to have personal goals, I would say bat close to .400, with a handful of home runs and stolen bases and play very solid on the defensive side,” Cline said.
“I will not always have my best performance each night, but I always try to play my best with as much effort as possible. I have to be a leader this year so I think my leadership and being a good teammate will be on display,” he added.
Still just a junior, Cline has received some mail from colleges and will have a big selection of them when the time comes, but for now, he is focused on himself in other areas, and does not have those plans in order yet.
“I am just trying to be the best athlete and teammate I can be,” Cline concluded.
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