SETH – It has been 23 years since Sherman High School has sniffed a West Virginia State Championship game. The Tide fell to Independence High School in the Class AA Championship game in 1990.
There have been lean baseball years for the Boone County School since that time and in 2012, the Tide fell to Class A status due to a steady drop in enrollment.
Head baseball coach Jeremiah Pettry realizes that the chance to coach a student athlete like first baseman John Hunter doesn’t come along quite often enough.
“He has all of the tools you could ask for. He can play any position on the field, he hits for average, with power, he runs exceptionally well and has baseball instincts on the base paths you can’t teach,” said Pettry.
Hunter’s passion for baseball has been growing since the age of four. His passion for the game shines through in his actions.
“He lines the field before games and takes pride in our baseball facility, He is an amazing kid,” said Pettry.
After a recent double header against Ravenswood, the left handed masher was hitting a cool .531 with five homeruns, 28 RBIs, nine triples and eight doubles. The junior has swiped 33 bases this season.
On the mound, the All Southern Coalfield Conference selection has lacked run support while going 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA while fanning 51 batters in 36.1 innings. Over the last two seasons, Hunter has developed a knuckle ball that has been a challenge for Tide catchers to corral.
Hunter (5-10, 155) may be better suited as a centerfielder on the next level. His speed and arm strength would allow him to cover serious real estate.
“He has the range and instincts to play a wonderful shortstop and outfield, but as a lefty, on our club, we just need him at first base for the better of the team this year,” said Pettry.
Hunter, who has no desire to participate in other sports, aspires to play on the collegiate level. As an honor student with Advanced Placement courses, he has priorities clearly set.
“I just love every aspect of the game of baseball. I love the mental side and the strategy of the game. I enjoy working on my game and getting better,” said Hunter.
“My studies are my number one focus, then baseball.”
Wins have not come easy for the Tide. As of April 27, Sherman has won just seven games. The maroon and gold are still playing a mostly Class AA schedule this season that includes three Class AAA clubs. Sherman has recently started as many as five freshmen.
Hunter has gone 6-for-12 (.500) versus Class AAA competition from the Mountain State Athletic Conference this season.
The Tide looks to line up a predominately Class A conference heavy schedule for 2014.
Regardless of the schedule, John Hunter is sure to be a hit.