PV senior to follow family footsteps

Lutz to attend Wagner College in Staten Island, NY.

Jake+Lutz+signs+to+Wagner+University+to+play+Division+I+baseball.

Matt Austin

Jake Lutz signs to Wagner University to play Division I baseball.

BJ McGrane, Sports Editor

As the son of a former minor league baseball player, PV senior Jake Lutz looks to follow in his father’s footsteps.

After he graduates from Pascack Valley this spring, Lutz will be taking his game to the next level as PV’s shortstop has committed to play Division I baseball at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York.

“Since I was a little kid, [my father] has always pushed me to be the best I can,” Lutz said.

Lutz’s father, Rick, was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 MLB Draft as a catcher and spent time in Toronto’s minor league system.

Making it to the minor leagues is an accomplishment that would impress many, but the Lutz family may have more than one member who played past college once all is said and done.

“I plan on it,” Lutz said. “I want to try to play [past college] obviously, but if not, I would love to coach, and be a college coach or possibly a minor or major league coach.”

Lutz has big dreams, but his next chapter starts in a small pond. To him, that is perhaps the most appealing part of his future school.

“[Wagner] is not the biggest school,” Lutz said. “It’s a smaller school which I love.”

In addition to what Wagner College offers on the outside, Lutz is looking forward to what the future may hold for him on the field as well as off the field in college.

“[Wagner’s baseball team] travels everywhere,” Lutz said. “Last year they went to San Diego in February, then they went to North Carolina and Florida to play a bunch of schools down there,” Lutz said.

It is no secret that to get to where he is today, Lutz has had to put in the work.

“I do something baseball-related everyday,” Lutz said. “Whether it’s stretching, hitting, fielding, or throwing.”

Everybody has to start somewhere, and for Lutz, the starting point was prior to the age of six, his age when he played his first game on a club team with his brother, who graduated from Pascack Valley in 2018.

“I don’t really remember when I started,” Lutz said. “I remember always training with my dad when I was younger.”

From the ages of six through fourteen, Lutz played for the Jersey Storm, a club team that produced an abundance of talent. Thirteen Division I commits have played for the Jersey Storm, as well as two players who are currently in minor league systems. George Valera, an outfielder in the Cleveland Indians organization, and Jaylen Palmer, an infielder in the New York Mets organization, were both teammates of Lutz.

Jake Lutz bats for his club team, the Jersey Storm. Lutz played for the Jersey Storm from the ages of six through fourteen.

Although it may seem like baseball was the obvious choice of sport for Lutz, that was not always the case.

“Up until eighth grade, I was a very good basketball player,” Lutz said. “I would travel around the state and play basketball, too.”

Shortly before high school, it became apparent to Lutz which sport he would pursue.

“I probably knew I was going to have a future in baseball around seventh or eighth grade,” Lutz said. “I was just as good at basketball, but I peaked completely in baseball in eighth grade.”

At Pascack Valley, Lutz has been no stranger to big games and big moments. Being a part of the varsity team since freshman year, he has played in his fair share of big games.

Valley has made playoff runs in each of Lutz’s three years as a part of the team, and Lutz hopes the team will have similar success this season.

“I think this year we definitely have a chance to win the county,” Lutz said. “No matter what, the number one thing is winning the league.”

Not only does Lutz have big dreams on the field, he also has aspirations off the field that he will look to pursue at Wagner.

“It would be a dream of mine to possibly work for one of the networks and do some video, and maybe even be on camera,” Lutz said. “Wagner has a good film and media major, which is something I’m interested in.”

Lutz’s competitive spirit doesn’t just live on the field. It lives in everything he does outside of baseball, and drives him to be the best he can be.

“My biggest thing is competing,” Lutz said. “I feel like baseball has made me a better worker.”