By Russell Vannozzi for The Robertson County Connection
High school sports were one of many activities interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Spring sports seniors had their careers end abruptly, without an opportunity to enjoy typical end-of-year tournaments and banquets that bring closure to the high school athletic experience.
The Connection has recognized these seniors from six schools – East Robertson, Greenbrier, Jo Byrns, Springfield, White House and White House Heritage – throughout the spring.
This week, the names of each area baseball senior, along with their position, post-HS plans and thoughts from their respective head coaches are listed below:
East Robertson (5):
Nelson Brown, OF: Attend Austin Peay State.
Coach’s quote: “Nelson has been a member of the East Robertson HS baseball program for four years. Throughout his time as an Indian, Nelson has been a dual sport athlete and contributed tremendously within both the basketball and baseball programs. Nelson has been the ultimate team player throughout his time at ERHS. Thank you, Nelson!” – Derek Wix
Don Conatser, C: Attend Belmont on a music scholarship.
Coach’s quote: “Don has been a member of the East Robertson HS baseball program for four years. Throughout his time as an Indian, Don has had a major impact on our baseball program, school and community. Don exemplified the role as a quiet and consistent leader in all phases of our baseball program. Don has stepped up to any challenge that has ever presented itself and continues to excel in those opportunities. Thank you, Don!” – Derek Wix
Daltyn Hammonds, SS: Attend school to become a lineman.
Coach’s quote: “Daltyn has been a member of the East Robertson HS baseball program for four years. Throughout his time as an Indian, Daltyn has been a dual-sport athlete and has been a vital member to both the basketball and baseball teams’ success. Daltyn’s consistency and productivity at SS allowed for our defense to take shape in 2018 and 2019, which made way for two deep playoff runs. Thank you, Daltyn!” – Derek Wix
Colton Harrison, OF: Play baseball at Lee University.
Coach’s quote: “Colton has been a member of the East Robertson HS baseball program for five years. Throughout his time as an Indian, Colton’s impact began at an early age and continued to grow with his determination and hard work. Colton exemplifies the fact that, “If you work hard, success has no option but to find.” Thank you, Colton, for your dedication and hard work! – Derek Wix
Wesley Lamb, OF/P: Exploring JUCO baseball options.
Coach’s quote: “Wes has been a member of the East Robertson HS baseball program for four years. Throughout his time as an Indian, Wes has been a leader on and off the field. As an OF/P, Wes has made a major impact on the success of OUR baseball family. Thank you, Wes!” – Derek Wix
Tristan Eakes, RHP/CF: Attend Western Kentucky.
Coach’s quote: “His time at GHS was very short because he was a transfer from CCS. I really didn’t get a chance to know him like everybody else. But his contributions were going to be huge for us moving forward. He was one of our district starters on the mound and really would have brought a lot of value to our program in that role.” – Justin Alberson
Noah Griffin, RHP/RF: Attend Tennessee Tech to study engineering.
Coach’s quote: “A kid like Noah is what makes this job really fun. He’s a great kid with a great family and does everything you ask of him. He was going to be in the same role this year that he was last year. He was a reliever that came in (during) some really big situations for us. He can get on the mound and absolutely compete, fill up the zone and get people out. He swung the bat well enough this year to get a starting position in right field.” – Justin Alberson
Pete Maness, LF: Attend Vol State.
Coach’s quote: “Pete could grind. He worked his tail off in the weight room. He didn’t get to play a whole lot last year, but he started in leftfield for us this year. He’s just one of those gritty kids. He was going to be in the bottom of the lineup for us, but with him being able to get on base like he could, that really helped us out.” – Justin Alberson
Tristen Merithew, C: Attend Vol State.
Coach’s quote: “This year he had big shoes to fill at the catching position with us losing two DI catchers from last year – Luke Jones and his older brother, Chance Merithew. He worked incredibly hard in the offseason and basically earned his starting job. He did a really good job through three games.” – Justin Alberson
Carter Preston, RHP/1B: Attend Vol State, become a firefighter.
Coach’s quote: “When Carter came in and filled that starting pitcher role when Chance Merithew got hurt (in 2019), he did a tremendous job. Carter was a district starter for us and did a fantastic job. He was a bulldog on the mound, could absolutely compete and was a good leader on the infield for us as well.” – Justin Alberson
Jo Byrns (5):
Cade Corbin, 2B/P: Plans to become a commercial pilot.
Coach Quote: “Cade is another senior that worked so hard for everything while on the baseball field. He was going to help us in many ways this year. He was our fastest player on the bases and had improved tremendously on the mound and had worked himself into the rotation this year. He will work hard at everything he does, and I have no doubt he will be successful.” – John Mark Hendricks
Mark Head, 3B: Attend TCAT in Nashville to study aircraft maintenance.
Coach Quote: “Mark worked hard all four years to earn his spot. He put in numerous extra hours to improve. I believe that Mark would have displayed all that hard work on the field this year. Unfortunately, we will not get to see the rewards from all of his hard work, but I know he will carry that work and determination into whatever field he chooses.” – John Mark Hendricks
Bobby Ogg, IF/OF/P: Attend MTSU to major in ag business and minor in accounting.
Coach Quote: “The one thing I will always remember about Bobby is his willingness to do whatever the coaches asked of him. He played so many positions over his four years and the coaches trusted him to get the job done wherever we moved him. He did whatever needed for the team and never once complained about it. He is a team player and it showed in all three sports he played in high school.” – John Mark Hendricks
Rudy Tucker, C/P: Play baseball at Freed-Hardeman and eventually become a coach.
Coach’s quote: “Rudy Tucker has worked hard to earn himself a scholarship at the next level. His skill behind the plate and ability to lead our team is something we will truly miss. He will continue to do the same at the next level, and I couldn’t be more excited for him.” – John Mark Hendricks
Noelan Woods, CF/P: Attend Colorado State to study zoology.
Coach Quote: “Noelan Woods developed into one of the best outfielders that I have had the privilege of coaching. He showed up EVERY DAY and did things the right way. I have no doubt whatever he chooses to do he will succeed and work hard to be the best at it.” – John Mark Hendricks
Jake Baker, C/P: Play baseball at Trevecca Nazarene.
Coach’s quote: “Jake will be remembered for his hard work and hustle. While catching, he would beat the batter down to first base to help back up the bag. We cannot wait to follow his career at Trevecca.” J.J. Martone
Patrick Edens, P/1B: Plans to begin working.
Coach’s quote: “Patrick will be remembered for his presence on the mound, his resiliency and his leadership. During his time, Patrick took his teammates underneath his wing and had a positive impact on them. His teammates admired him for that.” – J.J. Martone
Cale Jones, SS/P: Attend school to become a lineman.
Coach’s quote: “Cale will be remembered for his athleticism, caring personality and his sense of humor. He was a guy that helped keep his teammates loose. Also, we will never forget all (the) big defensive plays he made on pop ups/“Cale Ball” (he) caught against Rossview and other teams his junior season.” – J.J. Martone
Cody Major, OF: Attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to major in computer science with a minor in business.
Coach’s quote: “Cody will always be remembered for his hard work on and off the baseball field, his positive attitude and being an outstanding teammate. He would always throw with the outfielder in between innings and protect the pitcher/catcher if he was not in the game. His selflessness will always be admired.” – J.J. Martone
Mikie Neal, OF: Attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Coach’s quote: “Mikie will always be remembered for his leadership by example, hustle and grittiness. He had a great ability to track down fly balls in the outfield then make strong throws into the infield too.” – J.J. Martone
Noah Waltz, P/INF: Play baseball at Trinity International and study physical therapy.
Coach’s quote: “Noah will be remembered for his hard work, positive attitude and being a competitor on the baseball field. Every time he was on the mound, he gave us a chance to win. We are excited to follow his career at Trinity.” – J.J. Martone
Justin Whitman, P/INF: Attend Austin Peay to study accounting and become a CPA.
Coach’s quote: “Justin will be remembered for his hard work on and off the field and his love for the game of baseball. He came to practice every day and put work in.” – J.J. Martone
White House (6):
Coach Seth Long on his entire senior class: “These six young men have been unique for us in that their talent and competitiveness afforded them to be varsity contributors right out of the gate. They have helped to set a standard for our program for years to come. Through everything, they have been examples for older and younger players alike on what we expect at White House.”
Will Harper, Pitcher/OF: Undecided.
Coach’s quote: “Will has been one of our most consistent performers over the last four years. His sophomore year he went to work in an elimination game during the district tournament to this season (when) he threw a one-hitter during our first district series. Will has always worked hard at his craft to be someone his teammates can count upon every time he toes the rubber. We all knew that when he had the ball in his hands, he was going to give us a chance to win that day.” – Seth Long
Logan Neufeld, 2B/OF: Play football at Lindsey Wilson.
Coach’s quote: “Logan is an exceptional athlete that consistently performed at a high level. He has balanced playing multiple sports and (has) always shown his teammates that he is willing to go to battle for them. Logan was thrown into the fire during a district game his freshman year and never looked back. A four-year varsity player, Logan has been instrumental not only for baseball but White House athletics as a whole.” – Seth Long
Avery O’Bryan, P/1B: Undecided.
Coach’s quote: “Avery has been a huge part of our success over these last four years. He has dominant stuff on the mound and has been a threat in the middle of the lineup as well. Avery has consistently battled for us, gutting it out on the mound and in the field. One of his highlight moments was hitting an absolute bomb to walk off Barren County in the bottom of the eighth inning his sophomore year on his birthday!” – Seth Long
Joey Soporowski, P/1B: Undecided.
Coach’s quote: “Joey has been an invaluable member of the Devils for his entire career. He has done everything that has been asked of him, no matter what it was. I couldn’t be more proud of him and how hard he has worked to get where he is. He showed what he could do by throwing a one-hitter versus Macon County as a junior and was poised, thanks to his hard work and dedication, for a great senior campaign. Joey has been the glue to help keep this group of seniors together through ups and downs with his personality and work ethic.” – Seth Long
Miles Suiter, C: Undecided.
Coach’s quote: “Miles is the epitome of a catcher. A hard-working, no-nonsense grinder that is never afraid to play through pain and do the dirty work. He has to have more (hit by pitches) than any player in the Midstate over the last four years, and that just exemplifies his determination to win. He hit over .400 his junior season during our district games. He is a player that shows up in the big moments.” – Seth Long
Drew Vogel, SS: Play baseball at Murray State.
Coach’s quote: “Drew has been an everyday starter for us since he arrived at White House his freshman year. As a player, it was evident early that he had the tools to be a big-time player, but it is his growth as a leader that has been the most impressive. He is a relentless competitor who only missed three games due to injury in four years. We are so excited to see where his baseball future takes him. The sky’s the limit.” – Seth Long
White House Heritage (4):
Dalton Edwards, 3B: Attend Vol State, then transfer to Lipscomb to study dentistry.
Coach’s Quote: “Dalton is a three-year player who worked very hard to improve his game. He is a great student as well as being a great teammate. I am going to miss his focus and sense of humor.” – Chris Logsdon
Logan Gann, 1B/OF/P: Play baseball at Tennessee Tech.
Coach’s Quote: “Logan has been a four-year starter at Heritage. He probably possesses the most violent but sweet swing I have ever seen. He has worked very hard on the field and in the classroom. He is one of the best players I have ever coached.” – Chris Logsdon
Kyle Keathley, C/3B: Play baseball at Lindsey Wilson and study business.
Coach’s Quote: “Kyle has been a four-year player and a three-year starter. His seamless ability to transition from position to position speaks to his work ethic and willingness to be a team player. He has been a great leader on and off the field for us.” – Chris Logsdon
Jackson Long, P: Complete TCACT certification, then study business at Vol State.
Coach’s Quote: “Jackson has been a four-year player at Heritage. Jackson has been a hard worker and good teammate for our program. It is unbelievable how many skills he has. He has run his own successful business and has the ability to fix almost anything. He has been a great role model for our younger players. Our program will miss him.” – Chris Logsdon