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Athlete of the Month: Jake Phillips

Athlete of the Month: Jake Phillips

By Mark Ambrogi

Perry Meridian High School coach Jacob Banwart can always count on senior Jake Phillips.

“Phillips has been an absolute rock for us in multiple facets of the game,” Banwart said. “At the plate he continues to produce at a high level, and on the mound, he is 5-0 on the season. His growth this season/off-season was very good, but the biggest strides he has made are in the mental game. Jake never gets too high or too low, bounces back from failure quickly, and has an incredibly strong belief system in who he is as a player. He has put in the work both mentally and physically and manifested this season by living into the player that we know, and he knows he is. He has been a staple in the middle of the lineup for us for three seasons and currently sits (four) hits away from 100 in his high school career.”

As of May 22, Phillips was hitting .432 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 22 runs batted in for the Falcons (18-11). He had a 3.07 earned run average to go with his 5-0 mark.

“The most important improvement I have made this year is showing up every day trying to be the same person I was yesterday,” Phillips said. “I think last year if we lost a game the day before it showed up in practice, and in life. I don’t think it is something I have necessarily concentrated on, it’s more just accepting that you will never be perfect within the game of baseball, and you have to condense everything into the moment that you’re in and not focus on a bad call that happened earlier in the game.”

Phillips hit .348 with three homers and 19 RBIs last season and .370 as a sophomore. He had a 6-2 record with 2.02 ERA last season.

“This has been the best season I have had statistically; it’s also the most fun I have had in a season,” he said. “All of the guys on the team are my best friends, and I love competing with them. This season has gone by so fast because we are just having fun.”

Perry Meridian pitcher/third baseman Jake Phillips has been a steady performer for the Falcons this season. (Photo courtesy of Jake Phillips)

Phillips, who started playing baseball when he was 5 years old, also played football and basketball in youth leagues when he was in elementary school.

“I just didn’t have the interest in those compared to what I had with baseball,” he said. “I played football my freshman year but still just didn’t enjoy it. Baseball takes up a lot of time with fall, spring and summer tournaments. It just seemed more worth it to focus on baseball.”

In addition to pitching, Phillips plays third base, first base and catcher.

“I do enjoy pitching a lot because I feel like I have control over the pace of the game,” he said. “I put a lot of work into my defensive work at third last year. Nothing beats just going out and taking a bunch of ground balls. I would say I enjoy hitting and third base more than pitching.”



SCHOOL: Perry Meridian High School

CLASS: Senior 

HEIGHT: 6-foot-2

SPORT: Baseball

POSITION: Pitcher, third base, first base, catcher

COLLEGE: Plans to major in education; undecided on whether he will play baseball in college.


FAVORITE ATHLETE: Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman 


PARENTS’ NAMES: Sara Norris and David Rippy


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