[Karen Naess for Shaw Media]
DeMarco batted .303 with three doubles, a home run and drove in 20 RBIs for a 24-win team last season.
Genke said he’s not afraid to push DeMarco this spring. He moved him from second base to shortstop. Genke said DeMarco’s physical talents are obvious, but his mental makeup allows him to be a leader at such a young age.
Through 28 games, DeMarco is hitting .395 with five homers and 29 RBIs and scored 18 runs.
He’s pitched seven and two-third innings, striking out 14 and allowing one hit while earning five saves.
“He’s so much older than his years, very mature and understands the game and has an excellent baseball IQ,” Genke said. “He’s an ultimate competitor. He works hard and is a really great team player and excellent role model for the other kids, even though he’s only a sophomore.
“He makes plays that most kids can’t get to, and offensively he’s been hitting the ball really well, and been lights-out on the mound.”
DeMarco’s attitude reflects his physical stature. With a strong torso and legs, DeMarco was a major force at running back this season. His football success also brings another batch of questions regarding his long-time health for college. He led the North Stars in rushing with 896 yards and five touchdowns after taking over for his injured brother, Sam. midway through the regular season.
“My dad and brother played running back, so it’s in my family,” he said. “I love the game and it’s what I do in the fall. Nobody said don’t play. I can’t be afraid of getting hurt and being a three-sport athlete also keeps you in shape.”
Genke admitted to feeling “some anxiety” watching his high-profile baseball player barrel through defenders on the gridiron.
DeMarco strayed away from talking about his legacy at St. Charles North, especially so early in his career.
“I’m trying to improve all the way around, from my arm strength and trying to be more quick in the infield and be more like the next level,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun and can’t wait for the next two years. I’m trying to do the best I can every year and hopefully keep on improving and see what we get by my senior year.”