Park City High School baseball player signs with Mt. Hood Community College |

Park City High School baseball player signs with Mt. Hood Community College

(Ben Ramsey/The Park Record) Clockwise from top left, Sarah Strader, Jennifer Strader, Sam Strader and Matt Strader. Sam signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Park City High School senior Sam Strader signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Mt. Hood Community College, in Gresham, Oregon.

"This is huge for Sam, huge for the program," said David Feasler, baseball coach at PCHS. "Having a college guy know where he's going before the season starts is huge, and I think Mount Hood is a great opportunity for Sammy. He went 8-0 in region for us last year, he will be our guy on the mound this year."

Feasler said Strader's signing is not only an indicator of success and leadership in the baseball program — Strader is the second player in two years from the baseball team to move on and play at the college level — but it's a marker in Feasler's career.

"I've known him since he was like 10," Feasler said.

Sam's father, Matt, is the longtime assistant coach at PCHS, and at one time was Feasler's coach.

"I've got pictures of when Feasler played and Sammy's in the photo," Matt said. "He's just a little kid. He would come to the field with us since he was 5 or 6 years old. So this is kind of a cool day for him to be able to live his dream and be able to go play at the next level."

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Sam said he got a good feeling after visiting Mt. Hood, which is just east of Portland and, according to Feasler, has a serious baseball program.

"I was talking to a couple schools before and went on a couple visits before, but Mt. Hood felt great," Sam said. "It felt like a good fit for me, and my ultimate goal is to move on to the next level and play at a Division 1 school, and I think Mount Hood is a great place to get me started to go there."

Reflecting on Sam's career so far, Matt said he is proud of his son's work ethic.

"Yeah, he's been around baseball his whole life, but this last three or four years he's put in a lot of work, so I'm proud of him for doing that and committing to it, because that was one of his goals from when he was a little-league guy," Matt said. "He wanted to play at the next level, and now he's getting the opportunity to do that. It's really cool."

While in Gresham, Sam hopes to improve his off-speed pitches and develop a harder fastball.

When asked if Sam is expected to one day return to help coach Feasler's kids, Matt chuckled.

"That's the great thing about Dave, is he wants all his players to come back and be a part or give talks, so wherever Sammy ends up, maybe he does come back and coach David's kids back in the day," Matt said.

Sam said his experience at PCHS would have been hard to improve upon, but for now, his sights are set on using Mt. Hood as a building block to a Division 1 career.

"We'll see," he said. "We'll see where baseball goes."