Dury Could be the Answer for Power

<P>The Irish coaching staff was hoping to sign some power-hitting prospects in 2002. Coach Paul Mainieri hopes he has filled one slot with Indianapolis star Mike Dury. The 6-4, 210-pound Dury is quite the hitter, plays first base and also is a solid pitching prospect. The Indianapolis star has had an impressive senior season and should be a top prospect for the Irish in 2003. </P>

Mike Dury has been a Notre Dame fan all his life. "I've been going to Notre Dame games with my grandfather all my life. You dream about playing for Notre Dame but I didn't know that it would actually come true for me," said Dury of his commitment.

Dury will report to Notre Dame in August with impressive accolades. Dury has been a stand-out in everything he has done. He was the starting quarterback that won the State Championship for Bishop Chatard high school in Indiana the last two years. He was also the starting center for the Bishop Chatard basketball team that won the State Championship.

Dury also won the Phil N. Eskew Award for Mental Attitude in football this year and won the Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude for basketball as well given during the State Finals in both sports by the IHSAA. The winner must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

While Dury has excelled in all things in his life; baseball was his ticket to Notre Dame. The Indianapolis star had an outstanding senior season at the plate and on the mound. He hit .447 for Bishop Chatard with 10 home runs, seven doubles and 37 RBI. He also posted an 8-1 record on the mound with 77 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched.

Dury caught the attention of Mainieri at the Team One Showcase held at Eck Stadium last summer. "Mike Dury is one of those kids that come around every so often that you are so impressed with his makeup that you don't want to let an opportunity pass to let him become a part of your program," said Mainieri on his first impression of Dury.

Mainieri says Dury really impressed him at the showcase. "He really stood out among 150 players. He's a switch-hitter with some pop. He hit a homerun left-handed to deep right center and then he got up right-handed and smoked one off the wall right-handed. He hit the ball well from both sides and he hit for power so we were obviously excited. We're hoping he can provide some power for our team."

Even Mainieri isn't sure where Dury will end up when he reports to Notre Dame. "You'd like to play him at a number of positions because he can do so many things. He'll primarily be a first baseman but we will look at him in the outfield and were also going to look at him on the mound. He pitched for his team this year and he did an excellent job. I've never seen him pitch but he is such a good athlete that I wouldn't be surprised if he could pitch too."

His position on the team isn't a big concern for Dury. He does like pitching however. "I love to pitch," said Dury. "I love to be in control of the game. I will do whatever is best for the team. I'll do all I can to be on the field so it doesn't matter to me but I would like to get a shot at pitching."

Dury visited Notre Dame officially for the Pittsburgh football game. "It was awesome. We had a lot of fun. My host was Matt Macri but I hung out with a lot of players. I loved everything about Notre Dame.

The Irish were able to steal Dury from some good programs. "Virginia, Clemson and North Carolina State were the other schools I was interested in. Notre Dame is the total package. They have the best combination of athletics and academics and it's a Catholic school. I've been going to Catholic schools all my life so I feel comfortable in that environment. I've been a Notre Dame fan all my life so the decision was easy for me."

Another factor in Dury's decision was the coaching staff at Notre Dame. "I loved the coaching staff. They really impressed me and made me feel like they wanted me. I know they are going to ask a lot of me and it's going to take a lot of hard work but I can't wait for August, I'm ready to roll."

In the meantime, Dury will be playing summer baseball with current Irish commitment Sean Gaston for USA Athletics. They are a traveling team that travels all around the area. He will also play in the Indiana North/South football game as a quarterback.

Dury is thrilled with his decision to attend Notre Dame. "It's great because I love my family and they are only two and a half hours away and can see me play. I love Indiana and I am so glad that I am able to stay. I get to play for one of the best teams in college baseball and I get to play for some of the best coaches in baseball. It could not have worked out better for me. I'm excited and I can't wait for August."

Dury has excelled in everything he has focused his attention on in high school. He is a winner and has the kind of attitude that any coach would want. Who knows how good he can be when he focuses his attention on just baseball and academics? The Irish can use some power at the plate and I'm going to guess that Irish fans can count on Dury to provide it.

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