Baseball squad is Huff’s youngest ever

Coach Huff expects inexperienced team to grow and learn


Samuel Colmar

Senior pitcher/outfielder Zack Grau heads towards first base during Boone’s home game against the Ryle Raiders on April 17. Grau hit a home run in the Rebels 9-4 loss.

Hanna Bishop, webmaster

Baseball coach Wayne Huff has the youngest team he’s ever coached at Boone, starting two sophomores and one freshman on the varsity team, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t senior talent.

Wayne Huff identified seniors Zack Grau and Nate Courtney as players “to keep an eye on.”

Grau is in his third year as a member of the varsity team and Wayne Huff calls him the team’s best hitter and pitcher. Wayne Huff said Courtney, the team’s catcher, is one of the top hitters.

“Both are returning varsity players and know what it takes to succeed at the varsity level,” Wayne Huff said.

Blending with these returning players are young players such as sophomores Jacob Hyder and Trent Vest and freshman Justin Huff.

Wayne Huff called second-baseman Hyder a “hard-nosed player” with a “very high baseball IQ” who was one of the top hitters on the JV team last year.

Senior center fielder Devin Schwabe has been impressed by Hyder.

“He’s versatile and can do anything you need him to do,” Schwabe said. “He can play anywhere in the field as well as pitch.”

Wayne Huff says Vest is a “very solid” middle infielder with “very good hands” who can also pitch and run the bases.

Justin Huff “was basically raised on a baseball field” according to Wayne Huff. He has a “very high baseball IQ, starts in left field for us this year, (and is) also our No. 4 pitcher on varsity.”

With a young team, Wayne Huff expects the Rebels to “struggle with inexperience all year.”

“We have four to five first-year varsity players who start,” Wayne Huff said. “They have never seen this type of pitching, and the game moves much faster at the varsity level than it does at the JV level.”

Still, Wayne Huff said the goal is “to get better each game and be at our best for the district tournament.”

Schwabe thinks the team will be ready.

“Right now, nobody sees us as a threat because we lost so many seniors last year,” Schwabe said. “But as the year goes on, I think we’ll prove to be a team (that other teams should be) worried about.”