At 6 feet and 165 pounds, Redmond senior Marcus Flynn is hardly the imposing type of pitcher that one would envision as the closer on a state-title contending baseball team.
What Flynn may lack in size, however, he more than makes up for with his guts, determination and a will to win at any cost. Flynn’s competitive fire on the diamond and on the hardwood was unmatched and that is why he is the Reporter’s Male Athlete of the Year.
“Losing is not an option he considers,” said Redmond baseball head coach Dan Pudwill. “That is what made him a perfect fit for the role of closer on our team. When given the ball in games he would battle, compete, out-heart guys to get those final three outs and secure the win for us.”
Although he “hadn’t pitched in years,” according to Pudwill, Flynn excelled in handling the pressure of the late innings, garnering five saves while possessing a masterful 1.31 earned run average, only allowing one earned run all season.
“I got nervous… but I just tried to go in and do my job,” said Flynn. “I knew I had great teammates behind me that could back me up. I had a lot of confidence in them that if I did my job, they would, too.”
Flynn also had a monster year with the Mustangs at the plate as their No. 3 hitter, batting .424 with 17 RBIs and 25 runs scored in 24 games played. One of the factors contributing to the success of Flynn and his team may have been the fact that many of them had been playing ball together and bonding as teammates well before any of them ever set foot on Redmond High School’s campus.
“Zach Doleac, Tim Wilson, Landon Morris, all these guys I’ve been playing summer ball with since seventh grade … and the rest since sophomore year,” Flynn said.
Flynn also found a niche on the hardwood as one of the leaders of a young Mustang basketball team, where he realized that the underclassmen would be looking up to him as a proven athlete and role model.
“I knew coming into the season that there was going to be the experience factor,” said Flynn. “People were going to be counting on me to not only be a team leader, but also help out with the younger kids.”
To say Flynn led by example is an understatement. The talented guard shot 58 percent (26-45) from beyond the three-point arc and averaged 15.5 points per game on his way to earning 4A Kingco first-team all-league honors.
Baseball, however, is Flynn’s first love, and the 2008 season will always be one for him to remember.
“Baseball this year was a different experience than any I’ve had in high school (sports), just because I’ve never been on a team that was this good,” said Flynn. “Every game this year I felt confident that we were going to win, and most of the time it happened.”
A natural team leader in the clubhouse, Pudwill lauded Flynn’s ability to make the game fun, but also switch gears when necessary.
“Marcus finds the fun in (baseball) and shares that with his teammates, he is a great storyteller and has a wonderful sense of humor,” said the Mustang coach. “He also knows when he and the team need to get down to business … his countenance and emotion show this, and they follow his lead.”
“Marcus is very encouraging and positive with his teammates … and never throws a negative word in their direction.”
The two-sport star for the Mustangs would be the first to admit that being a part of Redmond’s athletic program is something that has helped him grow as an individual as well as an athlete.
“It’s kind of cliché, but you learn that nothing is easily attained, it’s all about hard work,” Flynn said. “You can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen, you have to take it. I learned that friends are really important, you need people around to help and support you, or you won’t be successful.”
Flynn, who will be attending the University of Washington this fall, hopes to someday get into medical school and become a dentist. He told the Reporter that although he was asked to play baseball at UW last year, Flynn does not plan to play sports in college so he can focus on his studies.
“(This season) was one of the most fun experiences that I got to enjoy with some of my good friends for one last time,” Flynn recalled. “I’ll miss the competitive aspect of it … there will be intramurals and stuff like that but it just won’t be the same.”
“Playing in front of the crowds and with your best friends is what I’m going to miss the most, for sure.”
Tim Watanabe can be reached at email@example.com or at (425) 867-0353, ext. 5054.