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He seems to lead a fairly normal, kind of reserved life.

It's what you might expect from a catcher who led his team to a baseball championship — with a quiet fortitude defensively and a solid bat when he gets a chance to swing away.

But Christopher Rowan is more than just that, although that certainly would be enough.

"He's very quiet, but he also plays jokes on our players. He's very unassuming and he comes across as very honest," Cottonwood coach Jason Crawford said. "But in his own way, he has some fun. He's got a really raspy laugh. You can always hear him laughing."

Everyone on the Cottonwood baseball team had reason to be cheery as the Colts took the Class 5A state championship.

The Colts only seemed to get better as the season drew longer. An 11-0 trouncing of Lone Peak in the title game only punctuated a week of victories — a week that started when Rowan hit a crucial triple in extra innings of a 2-1 win over American Fork.

Rowan defied a Cavemen shift designed to limit his effectiveness in that at-bat. The right-handed Rowan, who led Cottonwood with a .400 batting average, went to undefended right field with a hit and ended up with a triple.

That turned into the winning run soon after as the Colts advanced.

"He's a leader by example," Crawford said. "He doesn't necessarily call guys out. It's an 'I'm going to show up early, work my tail off' kind of leader."

And keep the guys loose.

"I'll go out of the [coaches] office and the first guy I see, I'll say, 'Hey, Crawf wants you,' " said Rowan on one of his favorite techniques to "build bonds," as he puts it.

"They'll go in there expecting to be talked to and they'll just stand there."

Teammate Hayden Rosenkrantz, who was new to the Cottonwood program this past season, quickly caught on to Rowan's sense of humor.

"He's a funny guy," Rosenkrantz said. "He likes to call himself Big Daddy. To everyone."

But Rowan has a serious side, too. He's committed to play baseball at the University of Utah, and he already is aware that not many of his future teammates are likely to be bio-engineering majors.

That's what Rowan's plans are, and it's a trajectory fueled by a class he took outside of his Cottonwood High courses.

"I took a class on engineering — all the principles. I think bio is my favorite one," Rowan said. "In my class, just developing a prosthetic arm — that really got my attention.

"I haven't come across anyone who's actually studying engineering. I don't know what to expect, but they say it'll be a busy schedule."

One thing that will be easier for Rowan is that his commute will not take as long when he attends college, even if he doesn't live on campus. Rowan lives with his family near Ogden and has been making the daily drive to Murray to go to high school.

"It was tiring, and after practice, I wanted to go to sleep so bad, but I couldn't because I was driving," Rowan said. "It was a grind."

Rowan, who says his plan with the Utes baseball team is "grinding, earning a spot," does plan on living on campus, pretty much eliminating driving distance as an obstacle.

"I'm excited. I won't have to drive forever to get here," he said. "It'll be nice for once." —

Previous MVPs

2017 • Christopher Rowan, Cottonwood

2016 • Alex Johnson, Woods Cross

2015 • Tevita Gerber, Cottonwood

2014 • Colton Shaver, Jordan

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