HINSDALE — It can be hard enough changing high schools.
One would think being the only sophomore on a varsity baseball team expected to contend in one of the most competitive conferences in the state would make it harder.
That's not the case for Chris Botsoe.
The Hinsdale Central sophomore is relatively new to the school after attending St. Laurence his freshman year, but being a part of the Red Devils baseball team has helped make adjusting to a new school a little bit easier.
"I was 50-50 about playing for the team at the beginning of the year because I didn't know how it would go," Botsoe said. "But a couple guys, like Christian Bokich and Adam Dressler, told me how good they were going to be, and they wanted me to be a part of it with them."
Botsoe hasn't just been a part of it, he's been a big part of the Red Devils' success this season. The only sophomore on the team, he is Central's starting center fielder and has committed just one error this year. He also plays a crucial role offensively as the leadoff hitter, where he leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage (.545) and stolen bases (11) as well as hits and runs scored.
"I think my defense and my speed are the two biggest things I bring to the team," Botsoe said. "I've been hitting it pretty well, too, I guess."
After a rough stretch in which the Red Devils lost four of five games to slip to 4-4 overall, they climbed to 11-6 as of Monday afternoon.
"I think all the talent is coming together and we've been playing real well," said Botsoe.
It took a little convincing, but Botsoe is happy to be on the diamond. And the Red Devils are happy to have a talented player that has already committed to play college ball at Louisville; he committed in January.
Botsoe's skills and consistency in the field and at the plate have given head coach Tom Dorrance one less thing to think about in his return to the dugout this season.
"He's a natural leader and he wasn't shy about fitting right in," Dorrance said. "He's the igniter for us and gets us going. He's a special player and we're thrilled to have him. What a great addition."