COLUMN: Sauser, Bartachek pull off four sports, all four years at MHS

Caleb Sauser playing in the State Boys Basketball Tournament last March. (Express file photos)

Lucas Bartachek (left) chasing down a quarterback in a 2021 football game.
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   Four sports in four seasons. It’s becoming rarer these days as high school athletes now often zero in on just one or two sports. Two athletes from Monticello bucked that trend in the Class of 2022, Caleb Sauser and Lucas Bartachek.

   Sauser’s four sports were football, basketball, track and baseball. Bartachek changed it up a bit, playing football, basketball, golf for three and track for one and baseball.

   I caught up with both Caleb and Lucas last week and got to hear their perspective on what it took to accomplish four for four and how it all went down.

   Looking back on their high school careers, Caleb mentioned if he had to do it over, he wouldn’t change a thing. He was proud to put on the Panther jersey and represent his school in front of what he described as the most supportive fans with his best friends. The only thing Lucas would change is he would have gone out for track all four years instead of golfing three.

   Lucas mentioned football as being his favorite sport, and nothing compared to Fridays under the lights. Caleb’s favorite was baseball. Ever since he moved here in seventh grade, he fell in love with the game but he did say football was a close second.

   Both young men felt there were a few challenges committing to four sports. Caleb’s was time management. That went along with all those practices over the four seasons and often leaving school early for away games. Lucas also mentioned the challenges of being a good student when it came down to time management along with trying to work part-time and still making time for friends and family.

   Neither Lucas or Caleb felt like they missed out on anything else school-related, singling out how their coaches seemed to do a good job working around school activities.

   One of my favorite questions I like to ask is: What was their favorite sports moment? Caleb’s answer was a tie, beating Dyersville Beckman in sub-state baseball his sophomore season and winning a district football title his senior year.

   Lucas also picked winning a district football title his senior season as his favorite moment, but also mentioned a close second was sinking a three-point basket at state basketball in the semi-final game.

   Both guys offered the same advice for any incoming freshmen that might be considering going out for four sports: Just do it! The friendships you will make along the way as well as the memories will last you a lifetime.

   Finally, our conversation concluded with an update on their future plans. Both Caleb and Lucas will continue their playing careers in college. Lucas will be studying Health and Exercise Science at Simpson while playing football. Caleb will be attending Wartburg, majoring in Business Management. Caleb plans on playing two sports in college, football and baseball.

   Congratulations to both Caleb and Lucas. I know your family and friends are proud of the both of you as well as your coaches and teachers. You both have done a fine job of representing the Panthers and your community. Best of luck as you continue on with your athletic and academic careers.




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