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Multi-sport Larson wrapping up busy prep career

Groton’s Tate Larson connects with a pitch during game earlier this season against the Wolsey-Wessington Outlaws at Locke-Karst Field in Groton. Photo by John Davis taken 4/26/2023

GROTON – Pick a sport and chances are that Groton’s Tate Larson has played it, sometimes even more than one at a time.

The senior, who competed in golf, football and basketball, is capping off his prep career with a whirlwind of activity this spring.

Larson has been busy balancing a schedule of track and field, baseball, and his last days as a high school student.

While that might sound demanding, Larson says he has gotten used to it.

“It’s honestly a little easier than I expected when I first tried to start doing it,” Larson said. “It’s just a couple of extra hours after track practice basically.”

Larson says that after track practice he goes to baseball practice for 30 minutes to an hour, which gives him time to prepare for both sports despite the practice overlap. He says that it can be a lot of work going back and forth between the two sports.

“It gets tiring after a little while because somedays I’ll have a track meet and then the next day I’ll go to a baseball game, and then a late ride home, and then the next morning go to another track meet,” Larson said.

Groton’s Tate Larson goes over the bar in the boys’ high jump earlier this season at the Northern State Open at Wachs Arena. Photo by John Davis taken 3/28/2023

During track and field, Larson competes in the high jump and long jump, while on the baseball field, he is a do-it-all player. The senior plays first base, third base, pitcher, and sometimes even plays in the outfield.

While Larson has been a key member on any squad that he was on during his high school years, he said it’s a tossup between basketball and baseball as his favorites.

“Those are just the two that have really stuck with me over the years whenever I’ve been playing them and got the most memories with them,” Larson said.

Groton’s Tate Larson, center, moves to the basket as Aberdeen Christian’s Andrew Brennan, right, defends defends during a game last season in Groton. Photo by John Davis taken 2/24/2023

Larson has many special memories he will take with him after his high school days are complete, although some will stick out more than others.

“I’d say definitely going to the state tournament for boys’ basketball last year, and just riding on the bus with the boys and all the state tournaments that we’ve been to for baseball, also,” Larson said.

This fall, Larson will attend Lake Area Technical College to study to be a physical therapy assistant. After his high school sports career ends, what will Larson miss the most about being a Groton Tiger?

“Just the support that I have from everybody,” Larson said. “All the parents do a lot of work that not everybody sees, whether it’s just washing our uniforms or prepping meals for us or volunteering at the baseball fields helping run the concession stands or something like that. Also, just the students that come and support us during our baseball games and everything, too.”

Larson and his Groton baseball squad will be competing in the Region 1B tournament today in Redfield. The Tigers square off against Sioux Valley at 2 p.m. in the opening round.

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