Lazarus works hard

Published 12:24 am Friday, April 1, 2011

NATCHEZ — The old adage that practice and hard work pay off in athletics defines the career of Cathedral School senior Rudy Lazarus.

Not all high school athletes would use their Christmas vacation to work on their baseball swing, but Lazarus did.

The work has paid off for Lazarus too, he is hitting over .500 for the Green Wave.

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“I have been doing a lot better than (previous seasons),” Lazarus said.

“I worked over Christmas break, and I got my swing the way it needs to be. I have been hitting really good.”

Lazarus’ father Mike is proud of the way that his son works at his favorite sport, he said.

“I’m always proud of him, he works hard,” Mike said.

“Sometimes I feel like he’s not the most athletic on the field, but he works harder than the others.”

Lazarus’ mom Kim is also proud of her son’s work ethic, she said.

“I just think that he just likes to do his best, and he just likes to do whatever it takes to accomplish what he wants to accomplish,” Kim Lazarus said.

Cathedral coach Craig Beesley sees improvement in Lazarus’ swing too, he said.

“He’s done a better job with off-speed pitches, he’s worked hard on staying back and hitting opposite field,” Beesley said.

“He’s definitely a kid that has put in a lot of practice. He’s not a big kid but does hit with some power, and like I said he has worked on hitting (to the opposite field) a lot.”

Lazarus is the designated hitter for the 8-4 Green Wave and also plays some catcher.

Lazarus said baseball is his favorite sport, but he also played football at Cathedral.

“Well, football was a lot different this year, having a new coach was a new experience,” Lazarus said.

“(And) I got to play a little bit more than usual this year in football.”

The senior was a special teams player. But he also got in on offense, including once for a touchdown.

“(One of my best memories) is getting my first touchdown this year. We were playing West Lincoln, and it was one of the first plays after halftime. That was pretty cool.”

Lazarus caught a 52-yard touchdown pass in that game.

Lazarus said one of his best baseball memories was beating rival St. Aloysius twice last season.

Lazarus is also a hard worker away from the diamond, his father said.

“He works hard, we don’t have to tell him to do his homework,” Mike said.

“We hear all these other parents talk about how they have to help their kids, and this and that. He’s always come right home from school, and sat down, and did his homework. He’s a responsible young man.”

Lazarus plans on continuing his education at Mississippi State in the fall, he said.

Until then he looks forward to graduation, taking some classes at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and working for his father at Lazarus Arts this summer.

He began his athletic career when he was very young. He started baseball at the tee ball level and football in the second grade, he said.

Lazarus said he will miss the camaraderie of high school athletics, after his time at Cathedral is over.

“(I will) probably (miss) just being able to play with my friends and just playing baseball,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus said his dad and his coaches, Craig Beesley and Ron Rushing, have helped him most with his athletics.

“(They) just always tell me I need to go hit and always keep working out,” Lazarus said.

His Green Wave baseball team still has high hopes for the season, he said.

“I plan on (continuing to) hit good, and hopefully we can win out in district and get a good spot in the playoffs,” Lazar