Delas an athlete for all seasons (08-29-31)
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:33
PERRYSBURG - Mark Delas isn't your typical high school athlete.
|File photo. Perrysburg's Mark Delas (49) runs the ball last season. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Perrysburg High School senior plays three sports in an era where athletes often start to specialize in one or perhaps two sports at an early age.
And he's terrific in all three.
He was a first-team All-Northern Lakes League selection in football and baseball last season, and was an NLL wrestling champion.
"I like all of them," said the quick and powerfully-built 6-foot-2, 220-pounder. "All of the coaches are great. I enjoy being around the guys I'm with, and competing every day. You're only young once, so you might as well do everything you enjoy doing."
Delas is on the go throughout the year, but said the offseason workouts required by the three sports usually don't overlap during the day.
"Sports keep me in shape and eating the right thing, and they keep me focused on school," Delas added. "It's not hard to do three sports. I have a rhythm and I have to keep organized to take advantage of my time."
Football and baseball have been Delas' best sports since he started middle school.
But he rejoined the wrestling team last winter and the decision benefitted his two other sports.
Delas struggled early after wrestling for the first time since the eighth grade. He finished 22-12 overall, winning the NLL title and finishing fifth in the Division I district meet - just one place shy of the state tournament. Perrysburg also won the NLL title last season.
He played football at 240 pounds and then lost 30 pounds before regaining 10 of them to wrestle at 220.
"He had to learn to deal with wins and losses," Perrysburg head wrestling coach and assistant football coach Sam Cotterman said. "The beginning of the year, he didn't deal with losing very well. But as the season went on, he grew as a person and as a wrestler."
Delas went on to hit .401 last spring when Perrysburg's baseball team finished 27-4 overall and 13-1 in the NLL. The Yellow Jackets won the league title and advanced to a Division I regional semifinal.
The right-hander played third base, caught and pitched. The All-Ohio selection was 6-1 with a 1.38 earned-run average.
Delas hits for average and power. As a freshman in 2011, he had a pinch-hit double in each of the Yellow Jackets' games in the Division I state tournament.
Delas crushed a double to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning of Perrysburg's 4-3 semifinal win over Willoughby South. The hit came with his team down 3-1. He was the junior varsity's leading hitter that season and was added to the varsity's tournament roster.
"His third sport (wrestling) really helped him with baseball," Perrysburg head baseball coach Dave Hall said, adding wrestling made Delas quicker and more agile, and put him in better condition.
"Now, he's in rock-solid shape physically," Hall said. "He's a throwback because he is a three-sport athlete. You don't always see that these days. I like the three-sport kids because they're competitive engine is never turned off. He's a competitive kid who works hard and who hates to lose."
Delas began his junior season with a solid football season, rushing 101 times for 883 yards as Perrysburg was 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the NLL.
The running back scored 18 touchdowns, and added 56 tackles from his linebacking position as Perrysburg earned a berth in the Division II state playoffs.
"The best thing that happened to Mark is going out for wrestling and not being the Big Man on Campus," Perrysburg head football coach Matt Kregel said. "Everybody's stud on the wrestling team is the 220-pound kid and he had to go through some failures before he got good at wrestling. Being humbled and having to work hard for something has made him better. He's really matured."
Delas also has good athlete genes.
His mom, Lisa Hicks-Delas, earned three letters each in volleyball, basketball and softball at Lake High School where she is a member of the school's athletics hall of fame.
She was an All-NLL and All-District honoree in volleyball and basketball, earning All-Ohio honors in basketball as a senior in 1986.
She played college basketball at Eastern Michigan where she met her future husband, Mick, a member of Eastern's baseball team.
Mick Delas was a third-team All-American catcher at Eastern as a junior in 1988 when he led the Mid-American Conference with 17 home runs and 65 runs batted in. He was a 12th-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1988, and played two seasons in the team's minor league organization. His career ended, in part, because of a minor neck injury suffered in a collision at the plate.
Mark Delas is the middle of three children. His older sister, Nicole, played basketball at Perrysburg and now attends Bowling Green State University.
His younger brother, Grant, is a freshman at Perrysburg where he plays football and baseball.
"My parents have always stressed doing my best every day," Mark Delas said.
Although Delas' coaches believe he's a NCAA Division I athlete, he's received no scholarship offers. His only offer so far is from Ohio Dominican's football program.
Delas has a 3.5 grade-point average and plans to major in criminal justice.
"I'm waiting on the right offer, but I haven't decided if I'll play football or baseball in college," Delas said. "I just want to keep improving and help my teams win."