Is Elder baseball catcher high?

A look into the rich history of Elder’s baseball backstops


photo by Mrs. Jenny Lambert

Vaughn celebrates a dinger against Oak Hills at the PAC in 2022.

This article will be a spin off of former Quill writer, Gregory Raymond Carlton. Greg penned a story this pat fall regarding the rich history of football long-snappers at Elder High School thus tokening the name, Long-Snapper High.

The catcher position is a highly regarded position in the sport of baseball. Oftentimes, MLB teams will sacrifice for their catcher to have an extremely low batting average as long as he is a solid defender because strong defensive catchers are so hard to come by.

A strong offensive catcher is even better for a team as he provides two levels of production. This commodity in the game of baseball is something that Elder High School highly regards, and they have seemingly struck gold with their current backstop and Alabama commit, Lucas Vaughn. 

In his 2021-2022 campaign, Luke had racked up the accolades of GCL POY, Southwest Ohio POY, a whopping batting average of .360, an extremely impressive fielding percentage of .993, and 129 putouts. 

These numbers come together to make Luke probably the most highly regarded baseball prospect to ever be a product of Elder High School. With still another year left to wear E-L-D-E-R across the chest, Luke looks to continue to be a leader for this mature baseball squad in the 2022-2023 campaign.

Elder catcher Luke Vaughn has already accepted a scholarship to play in the SEC with Alabama. (photo by Mr. Rankin)

As Luke acts as the current backstop for this defensive-heavy baseball squad, the catcher position has always been a highly regarded position here at Elder. In recent years, there have been countless Elder catchers that went on to play at the collegiate level with names such as: Luke Vaughn ’23 (Alabama), Kory Klingenbeck ’20 (Cincinnati), Jackson Gutzwiller ’21 (MSJ), Brennan Martin ’21 (TMU), Drew Klaserner ’18 (NKU), and many more just to name a few. 

With Klingenbeck directly followed by Vaughn catching from 2018-2023 for Elder, that tallies six straight years of a Power Five level catcher working as the backstop for the Panthers. This is an extremely impressive and rare commodity that the Panthers have been able to call their own.

When I asked Luke what it means for him to be the catcher at Elder especially following such prestigious alumnae, he answered, “It means everything to me. I’ve always looked forward to playing for Elder and now that I’m living it, it’s just really cool.” With Luke’s dad as a dominant pitcher at Elder during his time here, the “Vaughn’s” have definitely solidified themselves as a household name when it comes to Elder Baseball.

 This is made obvious by young fans arriving to games last year with a ball and sharpie in hopes that their fan-favorite Luke Vaughn would make time after games to sign autographs for these kids. It’s rare to see a sight like that with a high school athlete. 

When Luke’s season wraps up, he will be turning to preparation for playing at ‘Bama, or possibly getting drafted in the 2023 MLB Players draft out of high school to sign with a team. Luke has been active with his agent and conversing with MLB teams that he may call home one day.

With the privilege of having Luke back there for three straight seasons in a row, the Panthers will sadly depart from Luke after this upcoming season with his imminent graduation in the spring. With this, baseball looks for the next backstop to take over the reins from Luke. The future looks bright with upcoming guys such as Cooper Sandhas ’25 (brother of Elder Baseball products Kellen and Colton), impressive freshman Carson Smith ‘26, and the possible return of star linebacker Josh Dugan ‘24?!?(Please, come back Dugies).

As the baseball squad continues to prepare for the upcoming spring season, Luke is someone to keep an eye on. Baseball continues to compete for a GCL title and state run here soon, so maybe you make your way to the PAC to catch some weeknight baseball action and enjoy watching these guys before it’s too late and they graduate out of here.