The Osceola Chieftain baseball team did a couple of things that they hadn’t done since 2005. Osceola won the Middle Border conference title and went on to place first in their Regional. The Chieftains fell in the Sectional final to Rice Lake who went on to earn a spot in the State tournament with a win in their next game.
Osceola had a very young team with just three seniors on the team. Nick Carlson was one of the seniors and he gave the Chieftains a great foundation for success. Carlson was a great hitter, batting in the third spot in the lineup. When in the field he was the ace of the talented OHS pitching staff and also spent time at first base. For his efforts he was named as the Middle Border conference ‘Player of the Year.’
“We all know Nick is a great baseball player, but I think the biggest impact he had was positively impacting his teammates,” Osceola athletic director Scott Newton said. “Nick is a selfless person and he fully understands that individual stats are great, but it is the whole that makes it a great season. Nick led the Chieftain baseball team to one of their best seasons in 15 years.”
Carlson excelled both on offense and defense during the 2021 banner season for Osceola.
“I began playing baseball in T-ball as a kindergartner,” Carlson began. “Being a lefty, I’ve been a pitcher since the day I could be, but I’ve always had a soft spot for hitting. The part I love about pitching is being in complete control of the game, but it’s a different kind of feeling when you get your bat to connect to the ball. In all reality, I truly love every aspect of the game of baseball.”
Carlson loved the game of baseball and he got plenty of help from his entire family in developing his skills.
“We played a lot of catch at home,” Carlson said. “Whether it was my brother, my dad, or my mom, until I threw hard enough that it hurt her hand, someone was always there willing to play catch with me. And my parents have always been super supportive getting me to all my games and providing me with the equipment I needed to be successful.”
Carlson had plenty of help in achieving the goals the team had set for 2021.Osceola had a total of five players honored as all-conference members. Perhaps the main team trait for the Chieftains was resiliency. It didn’t seem to matter what tough spot the team was put in, they usually found an answer. OHS ended their season with an overall record of 17-4 and was 12-2 in conference play.
“The highlight of my season would definitely have to be winning the first conference championship in 15 years,” Carlson said. “It was an awesome feeling to be able to come out on top in my final season as a Chieftain. Another highlight was definitely earning the conference player of the year award. It has been my goal since the beginning of high school. After losing our season last year, I knew I needed to work even harder this year.”
Although the school year has come to an end in Osceola, Carlson is not yet done as a student or as a baseball player.
“I’m planning on attending Bethel University in the fall to major in business and play baseball as a pitcher and first baseman,” he said. “I’m excited for this new journey and to continue to focus on academics and play baseball at a higher level.”