Columbia County graduate Luke Roth has attended three of Columbia County’s high schools – Scappoose for his first two years, St. Helens for his junior year, and recently graduated after finishing out his high school career in Clatskanie.
Now, he has signed a $132,000, four-year deal with Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska to play baseball, and was even offered a walk-on spot as the university football team’s kicker.
Roth said he’s lived in Warren his whole life and ended up at Clastkanie High School when his father moved there to be closer to work.
“We got a house up there and it just made it easier for him and it was a better opportunity for me,” Roth said.
Roth began his baseball career in Scappoose and said when he transferred to St. Helens he “played pretty well” but wasn’t quite where he wanted to be in his game.
“My junior year, I didn’t have a fantastic year. I think I hit 200. So, I went and played summer baseball in Longview for a club called Lower Columbia,” Roth said. “They helped me immensely, and when I went to Clastkanie, my averages went up.”
He trained four days a week in baseball from the end of his junior year to the end of his senior year. The left-fielder ultimately finished his high school career as an All-League player with a batting average at 380 and an on-base percentage of 485. He came in with 22 RBIs and 26 total hits.
Roth then set up a recruiting profile online where he entered his statistics, recommendations from his coaches and videos of his performances. Midland, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, sent him a message.
“They thought I’d be a good fit for their program,” Roth said. “I ended up going and doing a visit and I really liked the visit.”
Roth, a self-professed “sports-a-holic,” plans to major in sports management with an ideal destination as a college athletic director. He discussed his future goals with the university, and as it turned out, they didn’t have a good kicker for their football team.
Roth said he’d never played football until his senior year but took on the role as defensive back for the Clastkanie tigers. Fortunately, the team filmed all of their games.
“I was able to pull clips of me kicking and I went over, and I showed them and that’s kind of what got me that walk-on opportunity,” Roth said. “I’d originally intended to just go for baseball.”
While the kicker position does not factor into the scholarship, his baseball signing will provide $30,000 a year towards his schooling. He said his parents have supported him “all the way.”
“It will be a little difficult going so far from home, but they have a school system that I’ll be able to be home three months a year, their winter break is really extended,” Roth said. “My parents are really excited for me. No one in my family has really gone anywhere in sports so they really want to see how far I can go with this.”