Transfer looking forward to first season with Elon

Phoenix junior pitcher Nate Young is in his first season with Elon after transferring from Lincoln Trail College, a junior college in Illinois. Elon's baseball season begins Friday against Akron University. Photo by Al Drago, Staff Photographer
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Transferring schools is never an easy decision. Elon junior pitcher Nate Young knows this first-hand.

He started his pitching career at his high school in Kalamazoo, Mich., spent a year at a small junior college in Robinson, Illinois. Now, he is a starting pitcher for a Division I school.

Young started his career at Lincoln Trail College, a school with “about 2,000 kids in the middle of nowhere.” After one year at Lincoln Trail, Young received an invitation to visit Elon, an offer that would change his life, he said.

“When I came here for my visit, I was just captured by the campus — it’s just an unbelievable campus,” he said. “To be honest with you, I’d never even heard of Elon before.”

Elon assistant head coach Greg Starbuck called Young and asked him to give Elon a chance.

“Then I did some research and I saw they were pretty good at baseball, with their ranking and their tournament status,” Young said. “That really attracted me as well and Coach Kennedy also with his reputation and with being such a great coach.”

Young recognizes how much harder he’s had to work as a member of the Elon baseball team, especially in two specific areas.

“Probably the schooling. The schooling is a lot harder and workouts have definitely been a lot harder,” he said. “Especially with Coach Mack, he’s a great strength and conditioning coach. The workouts have been a lot more intense.”

Young credits his successful adjustment to Elon from junior college to a good friend he met the first time he visited the campus.

“It’d probably be Niko Fraser,” he said. “I met him on my recruiting visit (and) stayed with him. It’d definitely be him, through him just bringing me in (and) getting me involved in Campus Outreach.”

Campus Outreach is a Christian ministry on campus in which both Fraser and Young are involved.

According to Young, the team members have high expectations for themselves, which means they have set their season goals high.

Young’s goal: “Definitely to win the conference,” he said. “I mean, that’s got to be everyone’s goal on the team, and just to play well. I know we’re looking forward to the season, but it’d definitely be to win the SoCon.”

Young is looking forward to the beginning of the season, especially Elon’s series against the defending national champions and a powerhouse from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Definitely South Carolina. South Carolina and Clemson are the two I’m definitely looking forward to,” he said.

Certainly teams he would not be playing if he was in Robinson, Ill.

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