The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 8, 2006

Diabetes doesn’t slow Jets’ Harris

In the summer after his ninth-grade year, Kyle Harris was losing weight. Fast.

The strapping 200-pound youngster lost 60 pounds over a six-week period.

A medical examination revealed he had Type-1 juvenile diabetes. Treatments began immediately to control the condition, and treatments continue to this day for the Northern Oklahoma College Enid freshman catcher.

“I’ve learned how to deal with it,’’ said Harris, who injects himself with insulin before every meal.

Harris’ condition has not been an impediment to his baseball career.

In the last four games, Harris is hitting .538 with six RBI to improve his season totals to .354 with 24 RBI and two homers.

“I just try to focus on getting base hits, seeing the ball well and hitting it,’’ said Harris. “I wish I could be a little more consistent at the plate. Sometimes it seems like I’m either on or off. But that’s baseball.’’

Harris will be looking to stay hot at the plate when the Jets travel to El Reno today for a Bi-State Conference doubleheader against Redlands Community College.

Harris, 19, is one of four NOC Enid players from Washington High School, a Class 2A baseball power in Oklahoma. Other former Warriors who played for coach David Vallerand are Joe Burnell, Davey Haggard and Monty Marcum.

The Jets enter today’s action with an 11-17 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the league. Redlands is 19-15, 5-1.

The Jets will start Clint Straka (3-3, 3.78 ERA) in the first game. Burnell (1-3, 2.47) will pitch the second game.

“We’re starting to find ways to win,’’ said Harris. “Early on, we were finding ways to lose. But we’ve been playing better each week. If we keep playing well, I think we can finish up pretty good.’’

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