Derek | St. Catherine's High School Senior '14

Written by Amber -

The first thing most people notice about Derek is that he is 6'6" tall. (DEFinitely the first thing I noticed when we met!) But as we got to know him, it was very clear that this St. Catherine's High School (Racine, WI) senior is more than just "a tall guy." I wanted to use this story to tell you about a few things you may not know about Derek from first glance.

Derek loves the outdoors! He was telling us all about his favorite place to go with his friends where they can go compound bow hunting. 

He is quite the artist, too! Derek brought his sketch book and a few of his completed pieces to this Senior Session we shot last fall. WOW! (Make sure you check it out below.) He's so creative. Some of this might stem from that fact that he observes things differently than other people generally do.

In addition to having a great sense of humor (which we quickly found out), he is quite the family man. "I would like to thank my parents for everything they have done for me," Derek said. "I wouldn’t be the person who I am today if it weren’t for them."

You might guess that Derek is an athlete at first glance—and you'd be right. He pretty much lives and breathes baseball and hopes to play in the pros someday! He's been on his high school's varsity baseball team since his sophomore year. "My sophomore year on the varsity baseball team I helped get our team to the semi-final of the WIAA state championship," Derek remembers. "This was a cool experience I will never forget."

Derek is one of the most humble people I've met. In fact, after we chatted for a while, Chad and I had a hunch that he was a better ball player than he let on to, so we did a little research of our own. This right handed pitcher's got talent! According to Prep Baseball Report, Derek went 9-1 as a junior with a .50 ERA and struck out 74 batters. He also hit .352 for his high school team. We also read that he averages 80mph pitches with his fastest being 99mph. Dang, kid!

There have certainly been some great baseball memories and experiences for Derek over the years. "Outside of school, I've played for Hitters Baseball Academy since my freshman year of high school. This is a baseball team that travels all over the country to play against the best kids in the country." 

When asked what motivates him most, Derek responded, "The people who are better than me, so that I can work even harder and become better, myself." He holds these words of Derek Jeter close as he strives to live them out, "There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do."

And speaking of advice, Derek passes this nugget on to underclassmen: "Always keep your heads up no matter what brings you down."

Although Derek will definitely miss his high school friends and sports, he cannot wait to graduate! He's had many offers from colleges for baseball (he was ranked #14 in the state of Wisconsin!), but he ultimately decided on Madison College to play with the Wolfpack. SUPER exciting!

Derek, we wish you the absolute best for the rest of your senior year and senior baseball season, as well as academic & athletic success in Madison! ...Is it too late to get your autograph before you're in the big leagues?

Derek's full Senior Session can be viewed in his online gallery. I hope you enjoy these photo highlights... 

Want to see more of this Session? View the full gallery here »