Will Christophersen is remaining a Spartan. He's just changing colors.
The Pleasant Valley senior recently committed to continue his baseball career at Michigan State.
Christophersen caught the attention of the Big Ten program late this past summer at the Midwest Classic. The right-handed pitcher topped out at 91 miles per hour.
"I started playing travel ball at age 9, and my first year we won the state championship," Christophersen said. "That sparked my passion for the game.
"I've been pretty good at pitching my whole life, but I didn't realize college baseball would be a reality until I was getting my velocity up near the 90s. I started to get noticed for that, and it became a reality."
After next summer, he'll trade in his Spartan navy for Spartan green.
Christophersen was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and spent the first couple years of his childhood there. The family has lived in the Quad-Cities for the past 15 to 16 years.
He had taken a visit to the East Lansing campus before Michigan State showed interest. Then he took another tour during the camp in late July.
"I really fell in love with everything about it," he said.
In 46 2/3 innings with PV this summer, Christophersen was 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts versus 37 walks.
"In the last three to four months, Will has really grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person," PV baseball coach Bill Sandry said. "Since June, I've seen a ton of maturity. I think he's ready, and he's deserving of the next step."
Besides a live arm and the ability to command multiple pitches recently, Christophersen has the frame. He's 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds.
Christophersen hit 87 mph the winter after his freshman season. Since getting on a throwing program and taking individual lessons, he's seen that number climb to the low 90s.
"I still have room to fill out, and I'm not completely polished yet," Christophersen said. "I have room for extra miles (per hour).
"I've had a great fall. One of my focuses has been staying consistent, and that comes with mechanics and being repeatable in that aspect."
Sandry played baseball at Kentucky and was a 23rd-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox. He sees a bright future for Christophersen.
Iowa, Dayton, Western Illinois, Bowling Green, Illinois State and multiple junior colleges — including Iowa Western and Southeastern — were in contact with Christophersen.
"I feel like this is kind of the beginning for Will," Sandry said. "There is a lot of upside with him.
"He just wants it now. I'm not sure a year ago if he really wanted it. He's making really good choices now, starting to get into the weight room, and he wants to realize his potential. That's a big step for him."
Taking a swing at state: All 10 Mississippi Athletic Conference boys golf teams will converge on Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday vying for a trip to the state tournament.
Cedar Rapids Washington, Dubuque Wahlert, Ottumwa and Cedar Rapids Xavier join the MAC programs in the 14-team district. The top three teams and top two individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to this weekend's state tournament in Marshalltown.
Based on season scoring averages, the top teams in the district are Bettendorf (312.5), Xavier (313.3), PV (314.8) and Cedar Rapids Washington (320.1).
MAC volleyball title on line: When Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley meet Tuesday at PV High School, it won't just be a battle of top-10 programs. In all likelihood, the match will determine this year's conference champion.
No. 7 PV (22-2) and No. 8 Bettendorf (17-2) are each 6-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs have won 42 consecutive league matches and are aiming for a fifth straight league title. The Spartans last won the MAC in 2012.
Regional swimming comes to Central: The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released its regional locations for girls swimming last week.
Davenport Central, which opened its new facility last winter, is one of six schools selected to host a regional, along with Ankeny, Indianola, Johnston, Linn-Mar and Southeast Polk.
The regional is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28.