Conner Christiansen spent the high school baseball season sitting, watching, learning, longing to play. Hopefully, there will be two better seasons ahead for the incoming junior at Fishers High School.
With a lost baseball season behind him because of a shoulder injury he received from football, followed by a knee injury while rehabbing for the baseball season, the left-hander has turned his attention and focus to the football field.
Christiansen transferred from Class 2A Heritage Christian last season for his sophomore year. He sat for a while early, watched, learned a new system, ran the Wildcat offense on occasion, and then he emerged onto the scene as the starting quarterback for the Tigers during the third game of the season.
He said he liked the bigger stage. He liked the scheme of things. He liked the atmosphere. He liked performing before a full house most games. Most important, he liked the chance to compete for the starting job at quarterback in a big-time program like Fishers, which won the Class 5A state championship the previous season.
“It was neat to come from a 2A school and have such a good year,” said Christiansen, a 6-foot, 158-pounder whose season was cut short by the shoulder surgery. He required eight screws in his broken collarbone on his throwing side.
“I don’t think anyone really expected it, me having such a good season. I did, though,” he said with a confident smile. Yep, he’s certainly a confident young man…very poised and beyond his years in maturity.
Now, there’s one thing that will keep him smiling. ”I’ll be glad when I get that first hit out of the way and I know that I’m ready and in the shape I need to be,” he said, nodding his head as if taking that first hit has been on his mind for quite a while now. And being named the starting quarterback surely would prompt another smile by him.
“I’m not ready to name a starting quarterback just quite yet,” said Fishers coach Rick Wimmer. “Connor and (senior) Ben Pritchett are the main two in the mix, though.” Christiansen would appear to be the favorite to get the job again, based on his experience and the fact he has two years of eligibility remaining. “Connor has had a very good summer in our workouts,” said Wimmer. “He came on strong last season, and it was disappointing the way it ended for him.”
Once the youngster started doing things the way Wimmer wanted, life became much better for quarterback and coach. Wimmer openly showed some frustration early on because Christiansen wanted to run the ball too much. The balance came – throwing and running – and Christiansen put up some impressive numbers before the injury. Christiansen – who underwent surgery the next day after being sidelined in the October 14 game at Brownsburg (which the Tigers lost 31-24)- had a 5-2 won-loss record as the starter.
Christiansen performed admirably for the Tigers while learning a new system. And it didn’t take him long to make his mark in the “Big Boys” program.
He nearly reached the 1,000-yard plateau. He completed 64 of 123 passes (.520 percentage) for 979 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he rushed 71 times for 326 yards and two TDs (4.6 per-carry average).
Some even believe that Conner Christiansen could be equally gifted as a pitcher. Only time will tell. Regardless, though, both football and baseball programs would appear to be in good hands.
The football season kicks off August 17 when Fishers opens against visiting Noblesville. Next, the Tigers are off to cross-town rival Hamilton Southeastern on August 24.