Alumni Heimlich leaves to attend OSU on scholarship

lukeSenior year: For most the best year of the high school experience.

The last year for students to give their final hoorah, the last year for spirit days, football games and high school dances.

But for former Puyallup High School student Luke Heimlich, what would have been a year of purple and gold will now be a year of orange and black.

This fall, Heimlich will be attending Oregon State University as a freshman on a baseball scholarship, instead of being at PHS as a senior.

When the idea of skipping his senior was first presented Heimlich had no idea that it was even possible.  The more he thought about going with the scholarship, the better it sounded.

“I could either pitch in the SPSL for PHS or in the PAC 12,” Heimlich said.

Growing up, Heimlich was a part of the homeschool program along with his siblings.  Being in the homeschool program as opposed to the public school system allowed him to “…get a catered education towards a field of study….,” Heimlich said.

With this education came the opportunity for a fast track through the education world.  Since homeschool students learn at their own pace and do not have as structured of a curriculum as public school students, they often earn credits at a faster rate.

On top of getting a specialized education Heimlich was able to learn some valuable life lessons by working with his dad.  His parents were able to influence him rather than peer pressure.

Heimlich decided to start attending public school when he felt he was lacking in the social aspect.

“I am a social person and felt like I was missing out,” Heimlich said.

Because he lived in the Rogers’ attendance area Heimlich also had to transfer and attend PHS in order to be eligible to play baseball for the school.

Since he was a little kid, Heimlich has been playing backyard baseball with his older brothers.  At age seven he joined his first organized team and his love for the sport has been growing ever since.

“Baseball is my passion and always will be,” Heimlich said. “I really realized how much I loved baseball and how I longed to be involved with it for the rest of my life, after freshman year.”

Heimlich also played basketball and football through ninth grade but realized that his love and talent for baseball was greater and decided to focus all of his efforts on one sport.

Heimlich says he is always looking for ways to better himself, to push himself to be a better player and teammate and this opportunity to play at OSU was just the way to do that.  Knowing that he was going to be leaving the PHS team was really hard at first

“I felt guilty knowing I was leaving the team,” Heimlich said.

But after talking to someone he really looked up to, Heimlich realized that his team would support him and his choices. This last season’s state championship win and his team will be something that Heimlich will never forget.

After college, Heimlich plans to continue his baseball career whether it be through playing, scouting or even coaching.  He has been told by multiple scouts that if he puts in the hard work and commitment that he has a shot at playing professional ball.

But if playing Major League Baseball does not work out he says he will find another way to stay involved in his passion.