Idabel’s John Wolf – Athlete Spotlight Presented By Pine Cellular

By Nick Hampton

On and off the diamond John Wolf is a guy who wears a lot of different hats at Idabel. In addition to his baseball duties where he plays a mean defensive first base as well as pitches, catches and can also fill in at third base, he plays defensive tackle on the Warriors football team and is gunning for a state record in power lifting.

First of all, there’s baseball where he’s playing under a new coach this year. Cade Clay grew up in Rattan where he was All-State player and a part of two state championship teams and then went on to play college ball at Eastern and Southeastern. It would appear that it’s all about the genes as his sister Samantha played softball at Carl Albert and OBU and his dad is long-time Rattan coach Michael Clay.

“John hit around .350 last year and has a good pop in his bat. He is one of two seniors on the team and we’ve got a lot of youngsters that require his leadership. He’s kind of a funny guy and really keeps the team loose,” said Clay.

Wolf recognizes the responsibility that comes with being a senior on a team with a lot of underclassmen.

“I just need to watch over the younger guys and make sure they’re doing everything correctly and giving 100 percent effort because that’s the one thing I do not like is not going all out,” said Wolf.

“Even if they mess up, they still need to be going 100 percent. I also need to make sure we’re coming together as a team.”

Coach and player alike feel that Wolf’s defensive play at first base has really improved over the last year and Wolf credits an ex-Warrior with helping him in that regard.

“McCain Wake was our first baseman last year and he really pushed me on defense and helped me improve my ability to dig out the low throws.”

Wolf got into power lifting last year and placed eighth in the state at 242 pounds. This year he had to improve on that mark and has his eye on a state record before the meet was cancelled.

“I’ve been working since last year to break the state record for deadlift which is 625 pounds and right now I’m at about 590.”

An officer in the Idabel FFA chapter, John Wolf says he’d love to play baseball in college somewhere next year, study Occupational Safety and then go into underwater welding, an interest he gained by closely observing crews repair a bridge near his home last year.