Nick Stokan tried out for his high school team in 2021 as a Junior and he was CUT. During his high school football season, a season that his team made it to the Finals in Division 1 at Ford Field, Nick would attend college baseball prospect camps almost every weekend with the hopes of playing college baseball. After playing center on Friday night during the football game and getting beaten up, he would get up early and drive to a college and attend the prospect camp. During the fall season, he played great and earned some offers for college. He eventually chooses to accept his offer from Macomb CC with the hopes of moving to a higher level in a couple of years. During the National Letter of Intent Signing Day, his high school baseball coach did not attend his signing, his football coaches did. A month later, his high school baseball coach CUT him again.
On March 6, 2023, Nick Stokan got a base hit for Macomb CC in his first at bat playing at Macomb CC.
Will Stuligross tried out at Orchard Lake St Mary’s in 2021. His fastball topped out at 83 mph which is pretty good for a high school lefty. The problem was he was trying out for the best high school baseball team in the country. He was crushed not to make the team and he made the decision to work harder than he has ever worked. By June of 2021 his fastball had broken 90 mph. He attracted some attention from bigger schools, but he chose to attend Hope College. Hope was the only school interested in him from the beginning. During the early signing period during 2022, the athletic director at St. Mary’s asked Will why was he not wearing his varsity sweater during the signing day. Will was straight to the point, “I got cut!”. A few weeks later, Will made the varsity baseball team at Orchard St Mary’s and he was part of the High School National Championship Team.
During both Nick’s and Will’s trying times, I told them a story about my favorite college teammate. My college teammate, who had never played high school baseball and tried out as a walk on with me at Wayne State University. He finished his career as a starting pitcher and I was fortunate to catch his final start and our final game together. Bill Avery won his final start and created my favorite memory in all my years of baseball. My brother and I finished our four-year college baseball career together winning our final college game together after never playing a high school baseball as teammates. I have shared that story of perseverance my times to high school players that have been cut. Nick and Will have followed in Bill Avery’s huge footsteps. Bill Avery’s perseverance in life has led him to be a “Forbes, Best-In-State” financial planner for UBS.