At shortstop, senior Charles Kwarteng played an important role for the Ocoee Knights baseball team
Before his senior season was cut short, Ocoee High baseball’s Charles Kwarteng was hoping to lead his team to a second consecutive district title. Through his four years at the school, Kwarteng grew as a player and became a leader for the Knights at shortstop.
When did you first get into baseball?
I got into baseball when I was 3, and it’s because my older brother played. When I was a kid, we would go to his Little League games. I wouldn’t want to go unless my mom could get me a replica uniform like my brother’s. Whenever he was at bat, I would get out of my stroller, and I was up to bat right with him. I really loved the game.
What was your favorite thing about playing baseball at Ocoee?
It was kind of being the underdog. Coming into my freshman year at Ocoee, everyone was telling me that we were the school everyone wanted to play. If they had two tough district games in a week, they wanted to play Ocoee in the middle of that, because they thought it would be an easy win. But over these four years, we have erased that — we won our first district championship, and we had a lot of winning seasons.
What are the best words of advice you’ve ever been given about the sport?
My coaches just remind to just have fun — I think that is the biggest thing for me. They know that when I try to do anything too serious, it’s just not going to go well for me. Like, in the middle of a game, I’ll turn to my centerfielder and play rock-paper-scissors-shoot with them. I just always try to remind myself to have fun.
When it comes to playing baseball, what is the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself?
I think my leadership. You hear it a lot that actions speak louder than words, but when you see it put into action, that’s the biggest change for me — being someone (whom) the team looks up to and looks to for motivation.
What’s your favorite part about playing at shortstop? The most challenging part?
I like to be in the middle of things — I like to keep everyone involved — so I think my favorite thing is being in that leadership position. I kind of like the pressure (knowing) you’re a guy who people need to keep everything going the right way. And I really love turning plays for some reason — it’s one of the most fun things to do. I think the most challenging part of it is the ball that is hit right at you — it’s the toughest play in baseball.
What’s the biggest highlight for you during your playing time at Ocoee?
It’s the two home runs in the (district) championship game last year. That experience right there, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that — it was like an out-of-body experience.
With the season being canceled, what are you up to now?
I’m just looking at colleges and really trying to find the best fit. Other than that, I’m just filling time throughout the day — playing video games with my friends from school. It’s not much — wake up, work out, eat and play video games.