Michigan Insider: Blake Dunn Wears S on Chest
April 18, 2016
By Dave Sontag
PBR Michigan Scout
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Michigan Insider: Blake Dunn Wears "S" on Chest
At times, he wears a uniform under his uniform.
The attire that rests inside his baseball jersey has an “S” on the chest. The “S” should stand for Superman. For Saugatuck High School multi-athlete Blake Dunn, he doesn’t think playing four varsity sports each school year is out of the ordinary.
“Personally, I have never wanted to give up on any sports. I have the support from all of the coaches. I never wanted to close the door to any of the sports,” Dunn said.
The talented junior is currently competing on the baseball and the track teams. He hopes to end his high school career earning 16 varsity letters, an unprecedented feat in school history.
Dunn has been the starting quarterback for three years and has starred on the basketball court for three winters. In an age when many high school athletes prefer to specialize in one sport, Dunn has a different attitude.
“High school only happens once,” Dunn said. “My parents are behind me and my coaches all support me.”
So how does Dunn prepare for each of his spring sports?
Track coach Rick Bauer allows Dunn to conduct his workouts in the morning – before school. Baseball coach Dave Gowlak then works with Dunn after school on the diamond. Game and meet conflicts are minimal during the spring sports season.
It helps that Saugatuck’s athletic director is Bill Dunn, Blake’s dad. The veteran AD has not scheduled many events when baseball and track are competing on the same day. However, Blake did have to make a decision his freshman year when both the track and the baseball teams traveled to Bloomingdale High School on the same day.
Blake said that day at Bloomingdale was the most memorable day that he has had in his high school career.
“I started off playing baseball that day and singled in my first at bat,” Dunn said. “I then changed into my track uniform and won three straight events.”
On that spring day, Dunn won the 110m hurdles, the 300m hurdles and a 4x400m relay. He then proceeded to change back into his baseball uniform.
With the “S” etched on his chest, how did Dunn cap his full day of competition?
“I went back to the baseball field and hit a home run in my next at bat,” Dunn said.
Dunn not only will earn 16 varsity letters in his high school career, he will be a four-sport All-State performer in all of his sports.
Which sport does he like the best?
“I love them all so much. I really don’t know which one is my favorite,” Dunn said.
As an elementary student, Blake grew up on the gridiron with his dad, who is also Saugatuck’s football coach. Being a coach’s son, Blake serves as another coach on the field.
“He’s always hung around the field,” Bill Dunn said. “Ever since second or third grade, Blake has been around me on the football field.”
The 5-11, 180-pounder said that there is nothing like “the Friday night lights in football and the Friday night crowds in basketball.”
“I have limited opportunities to play sports. I don’t want to miss out on any of them,” Dunn said.
Demonstrating talent on the basketball court, Dunn scored 51 points against Lawton this past winter. He finished his junior year with over 1,000 career points.
Dunn’s off-season schedule consists of playing travel baseball (Indiana Prospects) and working out with the school’s basketball and football teams.
“I don’t wear myself out playing one sport and possibly getting hurt,” Dunn said.
Dunn does realize that college coaches encourage athletes to play multiple sports. In fact, statistics have proven that high school athletes who specialize in one sport are at an increased risk of injuries – especially knee and hip injuries.
While playing four sports has kept Dunn busy athletically, he has been able to keep his grades solid. He holds a 3.95 GPA with a rigorous schedule.
The two-way baseball player has made a verbal commitment to Western Michigan University. He is not sure if he will continue at WMU on the mound or as a catcher – or both.
“They have talked to me about maybe catching and then closing on the mound,” Dunn said.
After contemplating Michigan State, Missouri, Toledo, Ohio University and Western Kentucky, Dunn made the choice to stay close to home.
“The coach (Billy Gernon) and I clicked at Western. I also wanted to stay close to home,” Dunn said.
Staying close to home does not surprise his dad.
“He’s really a down-home kid,” Bill Dunn said of his son. “The relationship with Billy (Gernon) is awesome.
The elder Dunn is proud of his son’s work ethic.
“He has God-given skills, but he works at it.” Bill said. “I remember him coming off of a basketball game on a Friday night and heading to Kalamazoo the next morning at 6:30 to work out for three hours.”
Blake credits Prep Baseball Report with giving him the exposure that he has received. At a recent event in Shelby Township, the talented junior heated his fastball up to 90 MPH and also ran a 6.7 60-yard dash.
The script for Blake Dunn has been storybook-like. Peeling off one uniform only to compete in another sport, Blake has carved quite an athletic career. While Western Michigan is waiting for the multi-talented athlete to finish his high school career, Blake will continue doing what he does best – performing at the highest level with an “S” clearly displayed on each of his uniforms.
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