WOOD RIVER - Baseball has been part of East Alton-Wood River freshman Caleb Handler's life for many years. He started in the sport with tee-ball at age 4 and he just recently completed his season for the Oilers. He will be a sophomore in the 2022-2023 school year. Caleb is a Midwest Members Credit Union Male Athlete of Month for the Oilers.

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Caleb said besides baseball he doesn't really have any other hobbies.

"It's just such a great time getting to enjoy the game with my friends and coaches," Caleb said about playing baseball.

Since he's just a freshman, he's not committed to a particular college yet but he dreams of playing for Vanderbilt. But he says he would take a baseball scholarship anywhere.

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Caleb's head baseball coach Nick Dorsey said Caleb has an extremely high work ethic and certainly deserves the recognition.

"Caleb has many qualities that earn this award," coach Dorsey said. "His work ethic is unmatched. Something I tell all of the athletes in the baseball program is that it isn’t about the work you do at practice, it is the work you put into it when no one is watching, the work you put in on your own. Caleb is the guy who puts in that extra work year in and year out and it is going to keep paying off for him."

"This mentality is infectious to his teammates around him and it is going to make his class something special as they get older. Where this work really paid off for Caleb was his offensive success this season. His calm and focused demeanor at the plate made him dangerous no matter who was pitching. As a coach, I was confident that he was going to have a chance to get a hit or on base each time at-bat. Overall, there is nothing more that I can say other than that I am so proud and fortunate that I get to be his coach"

Inside the classroom, Caleb was proud to mention that he gets straight A's and just recently passed two certification tests. He has yet to decide on what he wants to major in for college.

Besides baseball, he said he might give football a try this summer.

Caleb would like to thank his parents for being supportive and encouraging him when he's going through a tough time.

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