HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
All-Star weekend approaches for Whitman - Herald Press
July 11, 2012Huntington North High School
All-Star weekend approaches for Whitman
BY JOHN DEMPSEY firstname.lastname@example.org | Monday, July 9, 2012
Kendall Whitman will have a few familiar faces around him as he takes part in this weekend’s North-South All-Star Baseball Classic in Jasper.
The Huntington North graduate will be playing for the North team along with at least five other members of his travel baseball team, the Summit City Sluggers.
While he can play first or third base and pitch, Whitman says he’ll be playing first base for the North.
“Pitching is a lot of fun, but it’s not the best thing I can do,” he said. “I’m best at first base.
“I was excited to be picked. There are not too many people who get to say they played in this game,” he said. “It’s just a game to have fun and showcase what I can actually do.”
Whitman and the other players from across Indiana report Friday for practice at the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association’s 38th annual event. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday. In that game, players will wear their high school uniforms and use wooden bats.
Whitman feels fortunate to have been chosen.
“I didn’t expect to make the team. I wished for it. We had a ton of good players on the team and I knew one of us would make it,” he said.
A starter since the first game of his sophomore season, Whitman was a gem, according to Coach Russ Degitz.
“Kendall really did it all. He pitched for us, he played the field and he had the big bat in our lineup,” the Viking mentor said. “He consistently played at a high level for three years. I coached varsity baseball for eight years and he is one of the top three players I have ever coached. He’s a great kid and a hard worker.
“He walked away with several school records and the last three years have been three of the best seasons we have ever had here.”
Ranked second in Class 4A, the Vikings went 28-3 this season, losing to No. 8 Homestead 2-0 in the sectional semifinal. The team went 13-1 in North Central Conference action and won its second straight NCC title.
“We were really good this year. With the way we won so many games, that was neat,” Whitman said. “We probably should have gone farther in the postseason. This just caps off a special season.”
Whitman set Huntington North career records for hits with 138, RBI with 99, doubles with 30 and he destroyed the bareer batting average by hitting .455. The previous record was .401. He was hit by opposing pitchers 18 times this season, setting another record.
“I think what I did over the season helped a lot,” he said, but reiterated, “there were twp pr three other guys on the team who could have been there.”
Whitman will next suit up for the IPFW Mastodons and his roommate will be another member of the North team, Manchester’s Connor McLaughlin.
While he already plays with some of his fellow All-Stars, Whitman is looking forward to seeing the whole group.
“I’m just looking forward to getting to play with the best players in Indiana.”