A Knight Transformed into a Blue Devil

Alex Reiner, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Staples baseball is known for producing high quality athletes from the diamond, including three Division I commits in the past three years, and it just added one more with Chad Knight’s ’19 commitment to Duke University.

 

He announced this news through Instagram and Facebook posts on Sept. 7, 2016.

 

Knight chose Duke over other Atlantic Coastal Conference, Ivy League, Big 12 and Big 10 schools.

 

“Duke was the ideal combination of outstanding academics, a great baseball program and student life,” Knight said. “I also really liked the entire coaching staff, especially head coach Chris Pollard, and his vision for his team and the program.”

 

While this commitment is definitely a milestone for Knight, he has been extremely successful in baseball his entire life. Knight first stepped into the spotlight in 2013 as he led the Westport 12U District team to the Little League World Series.

 

“Chad was an unbelievable teammate that summer and still is a great one,” Harry Azadian ’18 said. “He is very encouraging [to his teammates] even when he’s not having the best game.” He batted .409 and led the team with three home runs.

 

Knight believes that the World Series experience helped him learn to stay calm in high pressure situations. It also reminded him that realizing goals is possible through hard work, determination and teamwork.

 

Despite past success, Knight is still very committed to improving his skills.

 

“I play during the spring and summer, however, I practice all year round. Training throughout the year is very time consuming and tedious, but I really enjoy the process of working towards goals and ultimately achieving them,” he said. Knight knew from the moment he stepped onto the diamond that playing in college was his dream.

 

Since the World Series, Knight has played for a variety of teams. He played for the Connecticut Seals for three years and this past summer traveled down to Georgia to play for the Georgia Jackets.

 

Another long-time teammate of Knights, Charlie Roof ’18, had only praise for the accomplished young player.

 

“You couldn’t tell that he was the best player because he was humble,” Roof said. Roof made sure to add that he was not surprised at all with Knight’s early and high level commitment because he has “all of the tools to do well at Duke.”

 

Knight was a key player for Staples as a freshman. He played third base and pitched, but made the biggest impact with his bat. He batted .358 with 3 home runs and 28 RBIs. Coach McFarland commended Knight as a player.

 

“Chad is a fierce competitor on the field,” McFarland said. “He will also not be outworked.”

 

Knight is the third Wrecker on the current baseball team to commit to a Division I school, joining Ben Casparius, University of North Carolina and Robert Stone, Holy Cross.

 

This commitment is definitely a huge achievement for Knight, but he has his eyes on a bigger prize down the road.

 

“These next few years at Staples, I think it is both the team’s goal, as well as mine, to win multiple championships for Staples,” Knight said.

 

Knight has an accomplished career, competing in the Little League World Series, but he hopes to fulfill his lifetime dream of competing in the College World Series and the MLB, dreams that originated a decade ago at Westport’s own Burr Farms, Coley and Town Farm fields.