ADRIAN -- He could be just a very good diplomat, but maybe he really means it when he says his favorite sport is whatever he’s playing at the time.
“My favorite sport that I’m in, I don’t really have one,” Adrian High School three-sport star Ian Stamer said. “In football, my favorite sport is football. When it’s basketball season, my favorite sport is basketball. And in baseball season, my favorite sport is baseball.”
Stamer, who recently finished his junior year at AHS, is a quarterback, wide receiver and safety during the fall season. He’s a combination point guard and shooting guard in the winter. And he’s a pitcher and a shortstop in the spring and summer.
During the 2019 high school baseball season, the speedy Stamer became the school’s single-season record holder for stolen bases. He did it -- securing his 24th -- in a May 20 game against the Worthington Trojans where he went 4-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and four RBIs.
Just as difficult as it is to pin Stamer down on a favorite sport, it’s hard to judge which of the three sports he’s best at. He’s perceived as a leader in all three, and that’s not possible to do on statistics alone.
He credits an older brother, Jake, with helping him excel in athletics. Ironically, it was Jake who once tagged him with an odd nickname, “Nee-Nee,” which Ian hasn’t quite escaped from yet. Ian appears to accept his label, though he admits it does sound like it should belong to someone younger.
Recently, the Globe cornered Ian Stamer during a brief afternoon practice on the Adrian baseball field. It was a wet, rainy day. But we found a dry place for a Drill interview. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sampling of the interview:
QUESTION: So you broke the Adrian school record for stolen bases in a season. We heard you’ve done some special workouts that increase your quickness.
ANSWER: “We do acceleration workouts in the mornings from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Our football coach runs it, and he pushes us hard and makes us faster.”
QUESTION: Is there a secret to stealing a base? There’s obviously more to it than just being fast.
ANSWER: “Well, first you gotta get on base to be able to steal a base. I struggled at that at the beginning of the year, but at the end I started to hit well. And then, just reading the pitcher and having a good jump. I get a good lead where I can barely make it back to first, but I’m comfortable.”
QUESTION: You’re playing American Legion baseball in the summer. What are you hoping to accomplish with the Legion team this year?
ANSWER: “Legion’s just mostly about having fun, having a good time with your friends in the summer -- and hopefully we can come out with a couple of wins and maybe make state.”