Lance Farlow always had a good swing.
Farlow is a recent graduate of MaST Charter High School, and during his time at the school, he was one of the best baseball players in the Penn-Jersey League.
He played all over the field during his three years as a starter, mostly center field, shortstop and pitcher, and he would have done it this year, too, had coronavirus not wiped out the season. And he was a clutch hitter.
But lately, he’s been doing a different kind of swinging, and he’s fallen in love with it.
“I’ve started playing golf and I like it a lot,” said Farlow, who was twice named the Most Valuable Player of his baseball team. “One of my coaches, Ryan Reed, told me to try it and I did. He passed away about a year after I started playing, and I’m really glad he told me to give it a try because I love it.
“He was a great coach and he was like a mentor to me. He helped me in a lot of ways, sports, and other things. He was a great mentor. He helped me, definitely, in becoming a leader.”
Farlow is happy he picked up the new sport because his baseball-playing days, at least playing on a school team, ended last year.
There were a few schools that were looking to add him to the mix, but Farlow is going a different route. Next year he’s headed to Penn State, and he’s not planning on playing for the Nittany Lions. There are other ways he can get involved with the sport, but he won’t be playing in Happy Valley.
“I love baseball, but I really want to focus on my grades, and baseball in college is a huge time commitment,” Farlow said. “I’ll play some way, and I can play in the summer still, but I didn’t think college baseball would be something I’d want to do. I want to focus on learning and enjoying college.”
It would be hard to imagine Farlow not competing in some form once he gets to college. He’s been doing it his entire life.
During his high school years, he was a three-sport athlete, also playing basketball for three years and soccer for two. Just as he was in baseball, Farlow was very versatile in basketball, playing center, forward and guard at various points of his career. In soccer, he was primarily a defender.
But baseball was his favorite sport, and he was hoping for a great swan song this year.
“It was tough not having the year,” Farlow said. “This was supposed to be a good year. We were young, and I was going to be a leader and help the younger kids get better.
“It meant a lot to me that (the coaches) trusted me to be a leader for them. I took it seriously and I wanted to do it. So it was really hard not having a season. Last year, we had a great year. It didn’t start out great, but we ended up making it to the District I championship, and we lost a close one (to Dock Mennonite). We played at Villanova, so that was fun.”
Sports are obviously a huge part of Farlow’s life, but he also loves spending time with his family.
His parents are a huge part of his life, and so are his siblings, Luke, 16, and Marisa, 13.
He always makes time for both of his younger siblings.
“My sister is a good athlete and she’s the most competitive,” Farlow said. “I love watching her because she’s good and very competitive.
“I’m very close with my brother, he has special needs, but he’s very smart. He has a lot of interests. He loves animals, he knows so much about them. He knows about every animal, and really loves them. We have a great bond. I’m close with everyone.”
And he knows that won’t change just because he’s at Penn State.
Sure, the trip to Happy Valley is about four hours from his home, but he’ll stay in touch.
“I know I’ll be talking to them all the time,” said Farlow, who plans on majoring in engineering. “We’re all so close. I’ll be able to talk to them, and it’s not that far.”
Farlow will miss his family and friends. He’ll also miss everything about his high school. He’s excited about the future, but will never forget the past.
“A lot of my friends went to Judge or Ryan, but MaST was perfect for me,” Farlow said. “It’s such a great school, and I liked it because I like a small school. I loved playing (baseball) there, I loved the school itself and all the people there.”
It also indirectly helped him pick up the sport he plans on competing in now that his baseball playing days are behind him.
“Golf is something I can do always,” said Farlow, who also enjoys fishing. “I’m not sure about baseball, but I know Penn State has club teams you can play on. I could do something like that.”