The New Ulm baseball team is off to a fast start this season, and it all begins with the Eagles senior behind the plate.

Rob Clark tells us why Hunter Ranweiler is our KEYC News 12 Prep Athlete of the Week brought to you by Scheels.

"He's an example of what you want on and off the field. He works hard in practice, sets an example for the kids. Off the field, he's clean, has a good head and shoulders on him, and I think he's going to be successful in the next couple of years," said Kevin Briggs, New Ulm head coach.

Ranweiler is the pacesetter at the top of New Ulm's batting order, with a patient approach to see as many pitches as possible.

Defensively, the catcher keeps every pitch around the plate to prevent runners from taking extra bases.

"He makes the pitchers better, pitchers are confident throwing in the dirt to him, and a lot of schools don't try to run. For the most part, he's a weapon for us defensively," said Briggs.

"Really picking the ball up out of the guys' hand reading it. If it breaks into the dirt real hard, you have to know if a curveball cuts back the other way, or if it's going to bounce back straight at you. You have to know your playing surface, dirt, turf, they take different hops, and just making sure you read it right," said Ranweiler, prep athlete of the week.

The New Ulm native will continue to improve his craft close to home next season with MSU.

"Being a part of the Maverick team, they're a great team, and I think that's a great spot for me to continue my career, and I think it's a great spot for me to be at," said Ranweiler.

Ranweiler's leadership is why he's our KEYC News 12 Prep Athlete of the Week, brought to you by Scheels.