McClain O’Connor has a true natural talent.
As he prepares to enter his junior year at Lincoln County High School, he has excelled beyond normal levels in every sport he plays. He’s a complete package. He has character intangibles that compliment natural athletic ability. He is humble, modest, unselfish and a team-first teammate. Generically speaking, character is important on and off the field no matter what. Those who know him personally have come to respect him because of those qualities. His coaches have counted their blessings because of those intangibles, plus his abilities, lead to a really important aspect to the game – he’s coachable.
He’s also extremely modest, and doesn’t want articles written about him. O’Connor is the type to lose himself in the game, but avoid any discussion of his merits afterwards. In fact, it was so difficult to get a comment from him, his quote for this story is, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” If you don’t know that reference, Google “Marshawn Lynch Press Conferences.”
With the help of supporters like Mike and Curtis Livreri from Centennial High School in Las Vegas, coaches, family and his own determination to succeed, doors have started to open for O’Connor. He excelled in football and basketball this past year, and he conquered baseball. He led the team with a .642 average. Only two kids in the nation had the qualifying number of at-bats and finished with a .632 BA (national average was .260). Fifty-seven percent of his at-bats resulted in a run scoring. His slugging percentage was 1.092 (national average was .310). He also finished with an on-base percentage of .679 (national average was .360). He was just as impressive on the mound, turning in an ERA of 1.765 (average was 6.15).
About a month ago, O’Connor was invited to try out for an Under Armour Factory National team – a program designed to develop a few special players in each state. He made that team, which not only gets him more recognition in the national arena, it offers experience and development from now through his graduation. It is Under Armour’s mission to stick with the underclassman players from the time they are first invited to a national team, to the day they leave high school. This also showcases O’Connor’s talent to people who may have never seen it.
There’s no guarantee O’Connor will even read this story, given his modesty, but there are two solid guarantees. His level of talent is special and he’ll have to get used to these features, because this won’t be the last.