On most days that he’s pitching, Steinbrenner High senior C.J. Van Eyk has a lot of scouts watching his every move.
The Florida State commit is primed for bigger things in the future, but he's focused on the here and now.
There are a lot of eyes on CJ Van Eyk. The Steinbrenner senior keeps his eye on the prize.
“I just try to keep the past in the past and just focus on the future with this team," Van Eyk said. "Just trying to be a leader on this team and hopefully keep us all together.
"Hopefully we can get back to the state championship.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone having a better 2016 season than Van Eyk. His team won the prestigious Saladino Tournament. Then he helped the Warriors clinch the 8A state championship.
Van Eyk capped off the season with his selection to the USA Under 18 team, helping them win gold too.
It’s different this season with everyone gunning for the Warriors.
“Everybody’s throwing the best they got available at you," Steinbrenner coach John Crumbley said. "You know, that’s the nature of the beast. You’ve been on the top and everybody wants to take you off the top.”
Van Eyk is doing his part to help Steinbrenner find its way back to states.
“He’s taken some of the other pitchers under his arms and they’re working hard with him," Crumbley said. "That’s been a very good, positive thing.”
It’s hard winning back-to-back state title. With Van Eyk on top of his game, the Warriors have a shot.
But that’s not the focus. Forging an identity for the 2017 season is.
“Not really trying to repeat," Van Eyk said, "but just trying to come together as a team since it’s a new team this year and just trying to get closer.”