By Danny Baker
Western Sun staff writer
Playing through pain is a badge of honor of sorts for most athletes. An opportunity for a player to show that their toughness and resolve are at a level that allow them to compete and succeed despite injury. For Golden West sophomore catcher, Chase Harrison, playing through pain is an understatement; Harrison plays through disease.
In 2008, Harrison showed symptoms of a non-curable disease called Crohn’s, a disease in which intestines become ulcerated, flare-ups randomly occur and are followed with very intense stomach pains. Although this disease cannot be cured, it can be controlled and Harrison goes in every five weeks and sits through a two and a half hour long procedure, that infuses Remicade (a medication to control flare-ups) into his bloodstream.
“Everything happens for a reason,” said Harrison who hopes to coach in the future and help children diagnosed with Crohn’s. “I couldn’t imagine my life without the game.”
Shortly before being diagnosed with Chron’s, Harrison lost 60 pounds and missed weeks of school, a serious setback for any athlete. Following a diagnosis that brought treatment for his symptoms, Harrison came back strong, fighting through the pain and progressing through treatments that ultimately allow him to still compete at a very high level.
Harrison is a sophomore who is playing in his first season with Golden West after transferring from Cypress College in early September. Harrison’s addition to the team has been rewarding, with a team-best 25 walks this season and 34 hits that is the second-best mark for the Rustlers.
While his offensive ranks are impressive, what he does defensively is what makes him a special asset to a Golden West squad that finished last in the Orange Empire Conference last year.
Harrison makes it look easy behind home plate, blocking just about every ball in the dirt and taking control of the game in a quarterback-like way.
Harrison and the Rustlers round out the regular season with a pair of games each against the Cypress Chargers on April 19 and 20 and the Santa Ana Dons on April 24 and 26.