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Scholar Athlete of the Week: Bozeman takes after dad in working hard, being encouraging

VIDALIA — Part of being a leader for Nathan Bozeman is being an encouragement to his teammates on the Vidalia baseball team.

And Bozeman said he’s taking after his father Denny Bozeman when he does it.

“He’s pretty much my hero,” Bozeman said. “He’s tried his best to be at every game, and he tries to pick me up when I do bad and tell me that I’ll do better next time.”

Bozeman is a leader on and off the baseball field. He said he has “somewhere between an A and a B” on his GPA, and he plans to take the ACT April 9. He’s been playing baseball since he was a child, and his primary position for the Vikings is in the outfield.

In addition to giving 100 percent, Bozeman said he spends a lot of time encouraging his teammates when they get down, much like his father does for him.

“I get that from my dad,” he said. “Most of the time when you have a bad game, your ability drops because your mindset is messed up. When you have the right mindset, though, you forget about your last at-bat.”

Since baseball is a game where even the best players fail seven out of 10 times, Bozeman said he stresses forgetting your failures.

“Whenever you mess up, you tend to get mad at yourself,” Bozeman said. “I always tell them to let go, and that you’ll get it next time.”

While some athletes prefer to crack jokes in order to help ease up teammates, Bozeman said that’s not his style.

“When it comes to baseball, I’m serious about everything,” Bozeman said. “All joking goes aside. It’s been my lifelong dream and goal to play in the pros since I was 4, and my dad’s really pushed that (mindset) in me. I think it’s the mindset you have to have.”

Staying on top of his studies is something else his father stresses to him, Bozeman said.

“I’m serious about my studies,” he said. “Basically, after practice I get home and go straight to homework or straight to studying for a test.”

With few experienced players returning for the Vikings this season, Bozeman said he’s still hoping the team eventually makes it to the state finals. If that’s to happen, his leadership skills will be essential for the team.

“I have confidence in myself, in that I know the game and I can help people out when they need it,” Bozeman said.

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