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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 13, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Sports

Covering the bases

Wolves are pack animals by nature. They stick close together, moving through their lives as a cohesive unit, dedicated to each other throughout. Senior Trevor Wolf and his brother Shane Wolf ’08 are no different.

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Senior Trevor Wolf has a .353 batting average, 92 hits, five home runs and 54 RBIs in his career for the Blue and Gold. MICHELLE BOULÉ/THE ITHACAN

Growing up, Trevor was a competitor through and through. Whether it was playing one-on-one football or Wiffle ball with his brother in the family’s backyard, different games fostered a competition, and the drive to compete has always been a part of Trevor’s life.

“We were always competitive growing up and wanted to win in everything we did,” Trevor said, “That mentality came from my father who always told us that if we were going to do something to go at it with everything we had.”

Trevor said even the friendliest games of catch would be competitive.

“We would always see who could throw the farthest or hit specific targets,” he said “When my dad would pitch to us we would always have competitions to see who could hit the most home runs or hit the ball the furthest.”

Trevor said the age difference drove him to push himself to achieve what his brother had.

Trevor’s father, David, played football for Colgate University from 1980 to 1982 and is in the school’s athletic hall of honor. Shane was an All-American pitcher at Ithaca College and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 26th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. Shane is currently playing at the Double-A level for the Corpus Christi Hooks, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

David said when Trevor was young he always tried to emulate what Shane was doing.

“Trevor has always had the drive to achieve what his brother did,” David said. “There were times when they would make the same all-star teams in Little League, something unheard of for kids that are three years apart.”

Shane said Trevor has had the drive to succeed from a young age.

“He would always be bugging me about going to the cages to hit or throwing in the backyard,” Shane said. “In our family if you were going to do something, you made sure you did it to the full extent, and Trevor really took that to heart.”

Shane and Trevor are brothers, but their relationship goes further than that. Shane is Trevor’s mentor, and the two are best friends.

Trevor said Shane gave him valuable advice on how to approach the game.

“He’s helped give the confidence to trust my ability,” Trevor said. “Just to be relaxed, smooth, and not try and force things.”

Trevor said he recalls a time when he had a particularly tough game. He struck out a few times and did not have a great defensive game.

“We weren’t really about consoling each other when one of us didn’t perform well,” Trevor said. “Sometimes [Shane] would come over and give me this look that said, ‘Shake it off; you’ll get ’em tomorrow,’ and that’s all it took.”

Trevor said his favorite baseball memories with his brother are from the year they got to spend together playing for the Bombers.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better for the both of us,” Trevor said. “He transferred from Buffalo the year before, and that only made the decision to come to Ithaca easier.”

The brothers, from Freeville, N.Y., grew up playing baseball with Head Coach George Valesente’s son in Lansing, N.Y. and knew the coach as kids. Valesente said Trevor has emerged as a player his teammates look to.

“Trevor has this quiet confidence about him that other players feed off of,” Valesente said. “This year, more than any, he’s let his skills take over and has let the game come to him.”

Trevor, a first baseman, carries a presence much larger then his 6-foot, 215-pound frame. He makes up for his lack of size when compared to other college first basemen by making the extra effort in the weight room and working with his brother during the offseason.

“I spend a lot of time in the weight room, not just lifting but also stretching and running during the offseason to get what I can out of my body.” Wolf said. “During the winter I work out with Shane, and he pushes me as well.”

Trevor uses short, explosive jumps when training with a jump rope and complements that by using medicine balls to develop his core strength and flexibility.

Barrel-chested with strong, tough hands, Trevor looks like the players of yesteryear, one with no fear and an intense focus that displays a deep-down desire to win.

“Size-wise, I’m not a typical first baseman, so it takes that extra effort — throwing my body in front of balls and making the diving attempts to make up for it,” Trevor said.

Intensity is not the only thing that makes him a dynamic player though; it’s his meticulousness and attention to detail that set him apart.

“You need to have a short memory to be successful,” Trevor said. “Watching my brother play professionally these last several years has reinforced not only the physical effort the game takes but also the mental awareness.”

Trevor stands upright, his left hand stuffed in his glove as the pitcher prepares for the delivery. Trevor bends at the waist and taps the toe of his right foot on the ground behind him, his glove at chest level, waiting for the pitch.

Hunching down, Trevor takes two short steps forward toward home plate, his eyes locked on the batter. As the pitch is called a strike, Trevor flashes forward another short step and comes upright, bouncing on the balls of his feet after the build up and anticipation of a hit.

“Knowing how to position yourself defensively based on the count and where the catcher is set up to better predict what pitch is coming — all of the little things add up and really do make a big difference,” Trevor said.

Trevor, a business administration major, said he is realistic about his prospects of playing professional ball.

“Getting drafted or playing in an independent league would be a dream come true,” Wolf said. “At the same time though, it’s not something I’m counting on.”

Trevor said spending time off the field with his brother meant more than anything to him.

“Having the opportunity to live with him and spend so much time together, whether it was studying and doing homework or having the occasional 3 a.m. meal at the State Street Diner,” he said. “Those are the memories I’ll hold onto the most.”