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SPORTS FEATURE

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

From Zebra to Potter – Charles Middleton
By: Aaron Jackson for The News Messenger
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Former Lincoln High Fighting Zebra Charles Middleton is now a Lincoln Potter and has gone from being first team all-state and a star baseball player at LHS to already playing seven games for the Potters and having the second best batting average on the squad.

Middleton played on the Zebras’ varsity team ever since his freshman year and has been in the starting lineups in a majority of the games he has played. After a .368 batting average and playing eight games his freshman season, Charles came back in his sophomore year to bat .322 with two home runs in 29 games.

In Middleton’s junior season he batted .402 with three home runs in 31 games. Finally, Middleton finished off his high school athletic career by batting .604 in his senior season adding seven home runs in 31 games.

In each season of high school, Middleton led his team to the Sac-Joaquin Section championship game and won the section title three times. Middleton has already hit one home run and has a .409 batting average with the Potters.

Charles explained how he got the opportunity to play with the Potters.

“The Potters saw videos of me from high school and heard how good of a season I had and decided to call me up,” he said.

 Middleton said he does not believe he has had to adapt or change his game and said the transition was just better competition. He said it has been a learning curve going from playing against high school athletes to college athletes.  He said the competition is better, there is less room for error and the pitching is better as well.

Middleton was awed by the town’s support of the Potters.

“The community of Lincoln is very supportive,” the recent high school graduate said. “I have a lot of love for this town and it means a great deal to have such a good turnout at our summer games.”

Middleton will attend Sierra College this fall and plans to play baseball for the Wolverines, as well. In spite of his rapid rise to prominence in the game, Charles said there were still improvements to be made.

“To improve as a player, I just hope to become more consistent day-in and day-out. I personally think I am a well-rounded player with all parts of my game being (my) strength.” Middleton said. “The atmosphere at Potters’ games is great, competitive and fun. I couldn’t ask for much more. I enjoyed myself and my time at LHS as well. Family environment makes the atmosphere in Lincoln so unique.”

Middleton said he hopes the quality reps he gets playing for the Potters will carry over to Sierra College. If all goes well, the young prodigy hopes it will lead to a scholarship at a big-time school, or even Major League Baseball’s draft.

“If someone wants to continue their game at the collegiate level, work hard now,” Middleton offered as advice to those still coming up through the ranks. “Lift weights on the regular and go to plenty of college showcases.”

It sounds like Charles is a very confident young man who is enjoying every moment of the experience he is getting to play for his hometown. Hopefully he can improve his game even more closing out strong with the Potters and have a great freshman season for the Sierra College Wolverines.

Congrats on your great play so far with Lincoln and keep up the phenomenal work!

Middleton finished our conversation with these parting words.

“Don’t ever be afraid to chase your dreams and Potter Up!”

_ Aaron Jackson is the sports information director for Lincoln High School.