LONGMONT — His school's top multisport athlete, Nate Higgins has starred in a number of sports at Skyline already this school year.

The Falcons senior led the football team in rushing during the fall, and even passed for nearly 500 yards and seven touchdowns. Though he is signed to play football at Fort Lewis College year, Higgins also led the basketball team in scoring during the winter.

But it's spring and it's time for baseball season. So, what type of performance levels can be expected from Higgins?

Pretty much his usual.

"I just want to have fun with it and win some games," Higgins said. "I plan to go out there and just do what I can do. I'm looking to continue what I did on the mound last year, play well in the outfield and hit a little bit. I really want the chance to play in a playoff game. That would be the best way to finish out my season at Skyline."

The Falcons last made the playoffs during his freshman season. But since he was just a freshman, Higgins didn't see the field. So his number one goal is to help his team reach the postseason in 2017, and take the field in mid- to late-May.

For Higgins and the Falcons, who went 10-8 in 2015 and 8-11 last year, a postseason appearance is a real possibility. Any postseason qualifying season will revolve heavily around Higgins' contributions, which in typical form are many. He led the led the team with 53.1 innings on the mound and a 2.31 ERA last season, and played center field when he wasn't pitching.

"I have really high expectations for us," Higgins said. "I think we all do. We all played on the same team this summer and we've been working hard so we have really good team chemistry. We're looking to make a run in the playoffs this year."


Higgins' fastball runs between 83-85 miles per hour. His best secondary pitch is a changeup and he also throws a curveball. But pitching wasn't really the problem for last year's Falcons, who expect the lineup to catch up to the rotation in 2017.

"This year, we're in a good position to compete with any team in the state," second-year head coach Travis Schlagel said. "We've got good leadership with ten seniors on our team this year. The past two years, we've been clawing and scraping with what he had and we've been in ball games. I think this year we have the chance to prove a point that we're ready."

Figuring to have good speed in the outfield, the Falcons also bring back pitcher and outfielder Jonah Chrisman, first baseman Nick Hamby and left-handed hitter Avery Riddoch, among others. But nobody does a little bit of everything like Higgins.

"I think for him, he's just Mr. Consistent," Schlagel said. "You can throw him out there on the bump or in the outfield, really I feel confident putting him at any position, and I know he'll go out there and compete. He doesn't need a ton of practice at any position, he just gets it. He just comes ready to play, and he has a talent to play wherever we need him on the field, which makes him invaluable to us."

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi