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Athlete Spotlight for Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Posted: April 2, 2014 - 12:01am
Photo by Jim Blaylock  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock

Augusta Preparatory Day School’s Nate Pylant describes his final year as a roller coaster, one that has seen a number of highs and lows.

A three-sport athlete, Pylant started the year rushing for 845 yards and 12 touchdowns as quarterback on the Cavaliers’ 11-1 football team that won the Glory for Christ state championship. When the Cavaliers won the state title it wasn’t Pylant under center, however, having dislocated his elbow in practice two days before the game.

After a period of rehabiliatation, Pylant joined the basketball team after Christmas and was a part of the team that finished as Georgia Indedpendent School Association Class AAA state runners-up.

“If you had told me that at the beginning of the year we were going to make it to the football and basketball state championship and that we were going to win football and I wasn’t going to play in that game and we were going to lose basketball and I was going to play in that game, I would not have believed you.” Pylant said.

Finishing his career on the baseball team as the Cavaliers’ leadoff man while doubling as the starting shortstop and closer, Pylant hopes the baseball team can further the success it has built in recent years.

“Through wonderful coaches we’ve had and the school getting behind us and supporting us, we’ve gone each year and broken new records.” said Pylant. “For example, last year was the first time ever Prep had ever been to the state playoffs in baseball.”

Head football coach Harry Bacheller has seen Pylant through the years and noted his contributions to the school.

“Nate has been one of the cornerstones of our sports programs,” said Bacheller. “He and several senior football players have hit the weight room hard and contributed greatly to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer programs here at Prep.”

It took a little while for Pylant to get to a positive place as the time right after the football championship game was not an easy one.

“I felt like ever since taking those beatings eighth-grade year, I worked up to that moment, kind of the climax of my years here at Prep,” Pylant said of the championship game. “At first it just felt like everything fell out from under me. It took a few weeks to wrap my mind around it...It was a speed bump and I came back stronger. That first part of the year was pretty dreadful.”

It also didn’t help that his commitment to Davidson College fell through shortly after his elbow injury. He was already accepted at Mercer University, however, and will sign a letter of commitment soon to play football for the Division I Bears, but not at quarterback.

“At slot receiver, I’m a little small (for quarterback),” Pylant said. “I was in the conversation to go to (Georgia) Tech and be a scout team triple-option quarterback and just be a practice squad quarterback. It’s crazy how things work out.”

Head baseball coach Tim Shafer said Pylant’s speed is one of his biggest assets and is hearing that Mercer may use Pylant as a pinch runner or more on their baseball team. He has seen Pylant, a converted outfielder, grow through the years.

“As a leadoff hitter he’s super dynamic,” said Shafer. “As a shortstop I’m super impressed with his progression over the last four years. He’s already made some highlight plays both in the hole and behind second base. He has tremendous range, it’s where his quickness comes into play. His progression at shortstop is super. It’s thrilling to see how well he’s doing as a shortstop.”

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