DICKINSON — Dickinson High School senior graduate Isaac Daley says sports have challenged and molded him to become the best version of himself. His involvement in athletics throughout childhood and through high school has inspired him to pursue the game at the next level before moving into a career path centered on his love of the game.

Daley began playing baseball for the Mustangs when he was seven years old.

“The first year my parents put me in it, I really liked it and it was a lot of fun,” Daley said. “I just kept on playing it. I wanted to get as good as I could.”

By his early teenage years, baseball had become his favorite sport. He continued to progress to the point where he was a focal point of the action as he played for the Dickinson Midgets and the Roughriders as a pitcher and first baseman.

Among the many great memories Daley formed over the years, he says that one of his proudest was hitting a home run in his first varsity game for the Roughriders.

Luckily for Daley, playing for the Riders was similar to playing for the Midgets because both teams share the same coaching philosophy and core principles.

Daley is a designated pitcher and first baseman for DHS and the Roughriders.

Photo courtesy of Isaac Daley

Daley wrapped up his Midgets season with an impressive .462 batting average, 36 hits and 38 RBI’s. On the mound, is where he shined brightest as he started 10 games, pitched for 37.2 innings, racked up 53 K’s and held down a 2.93 ERA.

For the Roughriders, his stats demonstrated the same level of precision and dominance he showcased on the high school field. Daley was a regular run generator, boasting 44 RBI’s. On the mound he was shutout, walking only 13 batters on the year and striking out another 50 through 10 games.

“My dad mentored me a lot,” Daley said. “He is probably my biggest fan.”

The mentoring began early, as he and his father would go to the field to pitch and hit balls consistently. Daley says that some days it was difficult for him to find the motivation to practice, but that his father was a big supporter of his game and instilled the work ethic needed for improvement.

“Looking back at it now, I’m truly grateful for all that he’s done for me… for pushing me,” Daley said. “It’s a really happy memory that I have with my dad.”

Daley recently received a scholarship offer to play baseball for Evangel University, a private Christian university and seminary, in Springfield, Missouri. He is expected to continue contributing in both the pitching and first baseman roles.

Keeping with the love for the game, Daley plans to study exercise science and minor in coaching where he hopes one day to grace a college diamond as a baseball coach.

Daley graduated form DHS this year, but it’s not the end of his baseball career.

Photo by Amber I. Neate

More than anything, Daley says the lessons of baseball are many—chief among them being “to work hard.”

“You have to really grind for a spot that you want,” Daley said. “You can’t ever just give up because nothing will ever be given to you.”

Before his big departure to Missouri, Daley has been working to improve his pitching velocity.

“It’s kind of a big deal for a lot of pitchers,” Daley said. “If I can get up to the mid-to-upper 90s, that would be a huge dream come true.”

The two sport athlete wasn’t only a star on the diamond, but also on the court. At DHS Daley was a power forward on the Midgets basketball team. In the 24 games he played his senior year, he garnered 32 assists, 39 steals, 13.8 points per game and 118 field goals.

DHS power forward Isaac Daley (white) was a key point contributor for Midgets basketball.

Photo by Josiah Cuellar

In both basketball and baseball, Daley says he enjoyed learning from the coaches, spending time with his teammates and becoming the best athlete he could be — a paradigm he says that culminated in his realization of his lifelong dream to be a next-level athlete.