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Checking in with ... Payton Sutman (Waterford)

(Editor's note: The Day will be publishing a profile of a spring athlete for each day the high school athletic season is suspended.)

School: Waterford High School 

Class: Senior 

Sport: Baseball 

Position: Pitcher 

College choice: Holy Cross

Chosen major: Undecided, leaning toward economics  

Athlete you grew up admiring: My Uncle Pete (Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach and former major leaguer Pete Walker), Peyton Manning 

Best moment of your baseball career: Winning the 2019 Class L state championship. We were counted out. Everyone said we weren’t good enough to compete with bigger schools. We went into the tournament as the No. 15 seed and went on to beat the 1 and 2 seeds and win the championship.

Checking in with Payton: "Playing football (for the first time as a senior) was one of the best experiences I have had. The bond that was built throughout the team was something special. I still think that catching a touchdown pass is the best feeling I have felt in my athletic career."

What you need to know about Payton: Sutman was already a part of Waterford's state championship lineage, winning two in basketball (2018, 2019) and one in baseball (2019) and he added football to his repertoire as a senior, falling back to a sport he played growing up. "Going back to playing football was always something I thought about, but never really considered until our quarterback, Ryan Bakken, would go down to the turf with a few of our other friends and throw us passes throughout the summer," Sutman said. "It started as something to keep us in shape and have a fun workout, but I instantly wanted to continue catching passes from him." Sutman, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver, helped lift the Lancers to a playoff bid, catching 23 passes for 473 yards and eight TDs, but broke his leg in a game on Nov. 1 and missed the remainder of football season and all of basketball following surgery. Sutman signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Holy Cross. "I chose Holy Cross because of how welcoming the coaches were to me and my family," said Sutman, who joins brother Walker (Fairfield) in the Division I ranks. "... The facilities there are amazing, along with the rest of the campus. I can see myself there for the next four years." Sutman was the winning pitcher in the Lancers' Class L state tournament quarterfinal victory on the way to the 2019 championship, allowing four hits over six innings in a 5-1 victory over Jonathan Law. He said his leg has healed, but he's still going to physical therapy to gain full strength. His favorite TV show is Entourage.

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