PALMER — Trace Severson grew up on the baseball diamond and in the wrestling room. As a senior, Severson added time on the football field to the mix. Severson went straight from football, to wrestling and to baseball at Colony High School, followed with the American Legion baseball season as a member of the Palmer Pioneers.
“Sports is basically my life,” Severson said.
Severson enjoyed a wide range of success as a three-sport athlete. He was a region and state champion as a senior in wrestling, first-team all-conference in baseball and honorable mention all-conference in football.
And he did all of that while notching a 4.05 grade point average.
Severson has also been named a 2019 Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman/Mat-Su Sea Hawkers Student-Athlete of the Year. Severson, a recent graduate of Colony High, and Redington graduate Harley Lytle are the winners of the annual award presented by the Frontiersman and the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers, a local nonprofit, which supports sports and community interests throughout the Valley. The award comes with a $1,000 scholarship. There is a check presentation scheduled for July 2 at Hermon Brothers Field prior to the Mat-Su Miners game against the Anchorage Bucs.
Severson is among five 2019 graduates who were nominated for the award by their respective schools. The list also includes Shawn Graham (Houston), Luke Guggenmos (Palmer), Eli Benson (Redington) and Caleb Wagle (Wasilla).
Severson will attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona in the fall, and study business and finance. It’s a career choice inspired by his favorite subject.
“Definitely math. I’m a math guy. I like numbers,” Severson said.
Severson said it’s the work he put in that allowed him to have success in the classroom.
“I don’t think I’m the smartest kid, but I always got my work done, paid attention in class,” Severson said.
Severson said he is going to try to walk on to Grand Canyon’s Division I baseball team. If that doesn’t work out, he’ll play club baseball, he said. The multi-sport standout said baseball has always been his first love.
“It’s always been the most fun. I love fielding, always getting better,” Severson said.
Severson pitched, and played in the middle infield and outfield during his baseball career. Although smaller in stature, Severson has been known for his tenacity, and what some have called a type of bulldog mentality, especially when on the mound.
“That is the approach I want to have,” Severson said. “I want to have the ball in my hands, I want to control the game.”
Severson brought that same approach to the wrestling mat, where he captured both the region and state crown at 145 pounds as a senior. Severson was also named the Most Outstanding Wrestler following the region championships.
“Winning regions was more exciting than state. That kid gave me more trouble all year,” Severson said of his Wasilla High opponent.
But that doesn’t mean Severson enjoyed the state championship any less.
“That was cool. If you would have told me in the seventh grade I would win a state title, I would not have believed you,” Severson said.
Severson said throughout youth and high school sports, he was both inspired and motivated by his mother, Kara. When it came to academics, Severson said his mom was always there to keep him, “in check.” And when it came to sports, his mom was always in the stands.
“It’s a very big deal to her, to me,” Severson said of his family’s love for sports. “She’s at every game she can be at, which helps a lot.”
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at email@example.com.