By: Hubble Smith, Sports Editor
Centennial High School senior Will Loucks is one of those Las Vegas kids who year after year debunk national reports about Nevada’s public education system being so horrible. Loucks, a 6-foot-5-inch, 200-pound first baseman and pitcher for the Sunset Region champion Centennial Bulldogs, is headed for Massachusetts Institute of Technology on an academic scholarship. He’ll be studying to be a neurosurgeon. Nice to know student-athlete isn’t always an oxymoron.
Loucks carried a batting average around .400 and slammed three home runs for the Bulldogs. On the mound he was 4-3 with a 2.17 ERA and tallied 11 strikeouts in a playoff victory over Arbor View.
Most impressive, though, is his 4.8 weighted grade point average. His strong subjects are math and science.
“It’s all what you make it,” Loucks said about Las Vegas schools. “The classes are the same, the teachers are the same. It’s all about the effort and desire to learn.”
That’s the attitude that made him a senior co-captain of the team and a leader in the eyes of coach Charles Cerrone.
“This a good group of guys. They’ve been cohesive all year long,” the coach said.
Centennial advanced to the NIAA Division I state tournament held at Peccole Park at University of Nevada-Reno. The Bulldogs defeated Reno High in the first round and lost to Sunrise Region champion Liberty High, 3-2, with Loucks taking the loss.
Loucks said he’s interested in chemical engineering and wanted to attend a good college. He applied to MIT and Cal Tech and reached out to baseball coaches there. MIT came back with the scholarship offer.
It’s been a rewarding year for the senior, winning the Sunset Region championship and reaching the state finals. Those are glorious memories he’ll take with him to MIT and for the rest of his life. “These are my best friends out here,” he said.
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