Chloe Young has been a defensive staple in centerfield for Polk County

Polk County center fielder Chloe Young does a lot for the Wolverines.

She’s an all-state player, hits second and batted over .400 last season, a serious offensive threat for Polk County.

Defensively, though, she’s something else entirely. She’s where base hits go to die.

“She’s a stud in the outfield,” coach Phillip Miller said. “Anything that’s hit that she can possibly get to, she catches.”

Young and her Polk County teammates will make their home debut on Thursday, hosting Asheville for a 4:30 p.m. matchup.

A lot of great defenders take to their position naturally. That’s not true for Young. She tried a couple different positions before finding her home.

“When I first started playing, I wanted to play infield,” she said. “I tried out every position until I found the one I was most confident in. I improved my speed and my ability to track balls while still enjoying playing the sport I love.”

Speed, skill and ability are complemented by Young’s simple approach to her position – go and get it.

“I do my best to catch any ball coming my way,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it isn’t close to me. I try for every ball possible. I also have learned to read the batters by how they stand and how they foul the balls off.”

Young’s defensive plays help energize her teammates, Miller said.

“When she goes deep in the hole and catches some of the balls that she’s able to get to, it brings energy to everybody,” he said.

Polk County’s Chloe Young hit .411 in her junior season

She also helps bring energy at the top of the lineup for the Wolverines. With a career average well north of .300, and a .411 mark last season, Young helps set the table for the Wolverines.

“Mia (Bradley) is in front of her, and then Chole either moves her over and drives her in, and we’ve got a two-time all-state player in Sarah (Vitale) hitting third,” Miller said. “Those three are pretty tough up there at the top of the lineup. Chloe has honestly picked right up where she left off last year.”

It sure looked like it in the season-opening 17-2 win over Asheville – Young finished 2-for-2 with a walk, double, triple, and three RBI.

Hitting, too, is something Young works at.

“To maintain my average I put in extra work off the field,” she said. “I spend every summer and fall playing travel softball for a competitive team. I also put in work with a hitting coach. Every year, I look back at my previous stats so that I can outdo myself every year. This helps me set goals and better myself.”

Miller said Young’s success is no surprise.

“I told her when she was a freshman that she was going to be all-state,” he said. “It took her a couple of years, but she got there. You could just see it. She had a little hitting slump her sophomore year, but since then she’s been killing it. Even in practice, it’s just line drives right at people.”

The hard work has paid off, as Young will play collegiately at Gaston College. Having that major decision made isn’t going to make her relax any, though.

“Having my destination decided is helpful but I still have pressure,” she said. “I can’t just sit back and relax. I still have to put in the work and improve myself so I will be ready to play in college. Even though I’m going to college, I still have a lot of things to better myself at.”

She’s hoping for an enjoyable senior season along the way.

“This year I hope for a fun and successful season,” she said. “I want to enjoy my last year with my teammates as much as possible. I have set some personal goals as well, so that I can still work hard to get prepared for college. I hope to out-bat myself from last year and to get all-conference again.”