Grab some popcorn and open those peanuts because it’s almost baseball season. Baseball is one of the most popular sports here at ABAC. This year, approximately 40 guys have arrived to join the ABAC Stallions baseball team. The coaches will be making cuts at the end of fall, following the exhibition season.
Some people get caught up in the stats and scores of the game, but every single baseball player on the team has a story of how they ended up here at ABAC. These are two of those stories.
ABAC freshman Dustin Hill started playing baseball when he was five years old. His Stallion teammate Luke Whitman didn’t wait much longer, starting at 6 years old.
Hill began playing baseball when he was little and found the game extremely interesting and wanted to give it a shot. It turned out he loved it.
Whitman entered the sport because he has always looked up to his grandmother. She played softball when she was younger, and Whitman wanted to follow in her footsteps.
The two freshmen were both recruited to play at ABAC by Coach Jeff Kilgore, who has since moved on to coach at Emmanuel College. Both players achieved scholarships to play at ABAC.
Hill plays left field while Luke is a pitcher who also plays the outfield. If they aren’t weightlifting, they are with the team practicing every day in the scorching South Georgia heat.
You might wonder if it’s difficult for these hard-working athletes to maintain good grades while giving up the majority of their free time to baseball. Just imagine how much homework a regular college student has and multiply that by two because these college athletes have twice the responsibility.
The athletes must maintain a 2.0 average to remain part of the team. Whitman explains, “It’s very hard to do a sport and be in college. It's very difficult being organized with five classes and having practice every day.”
Hill mirrored what Whitman said, adding, “School in the morning and practice in the afternoon — it’s very hard to manage time for studying and being an athlete.”
Whitman also said his coach is always watching his every move and making sure he doesn’t skip any classes. The boys have no room to get into any kind of trouble, or it may cost them their position on the team.
This means the baseball players have no time for a night out at the Gin like every other college student might on a Thursday night. Instead, they have a 6 a.m. workout the following morning.
Being in college and playing a sport is no easy task. It takes dedication and a great deal of determination. The team is now getting equipped and ready to begin the season. They have all put in a large amount of time, effort and sweat to make themselves and the team better.
Whitman thinks the team is going to have an outstanding season this year based on his teammates’ efforts so far this pre season. Hill agrees and follows Whitman’s statement by saying, “Hell yeah, we are going to be very good!”