Program Preview: Holly SpringsMarch 20, 2023
May 20-21 Otterbot Invitational ScheduleMay 16, 2023
Today we traveled down to Wilson and sat down with Head Coach Jon Smith. Coach Smith is the head coach of the Wilson Hunt High School Warriors. If you know anything about Eastern North Carolina baseball, the Warriors are always in the mix come playoff time. Find out more about the 2023 club below..
When you hear the word Hunt Baseball, what comes to your mind?
Good character kids who love to play baseball. A feeling of consistency and standards, and an environment that prepares our players for what’s next whether it is in baseball or not.
Your teams at Hunt have been very consistent since you arrived in 2007, what’s the secret sauce?
I believe in accountability, hard work, and having a standard. We are still in search of our first state championship, but I am not concerned with the results, but rather how we go about playing the game. I don’t consider that to be any ‘secret sauce’ but rather how I was taught how to play and how I have observed the best programs across all sports.
In my opinion, you’re one of the best High School coaches in the state. Where do you point your success toward?
I was fortunate to be around the game since I was young because my father was a coach. I was also coached by some of the best:Troy Eason, Jimmy Smith, Rabbit Fulghum, Lind Hartsell (LCC), Jack Leggett, Kevin O’Sullivan, and Tim Corbin(Clemson). I began my coaching career with Ed Blankmeyer and Mike Hampton at St. John’s and then Bill Hillier at Duke before entering high school coaching with Jabo Fulghum and Eddie Loesner. Those are some of the best and I believe I have taken some of those experiences and applied it to my high school coaching career. I am very thankful for those experiences. I also truly believe our program has been blessed with great assistant coaches who really make our staff complete: Paul Willoughby, Larry Fulghum, and Andrew Alphin. These men all bring their pedigree to our program and make our program complete.
Moving onto the 2023 Hunt club, what’s the strength to the Warriors?
Our strength is that on any given night any player can step up and perform well whether it is on the mound, at the plate, or on defense. We have some interesting talent in the program and are developing our younger players to increase our depth to hopefully be in the mix later in the year and for a few years to come.
What are some key matchups you look forward to on the schedule?
Our conference is really competitive and has some really good coaches. Key matchups this year will happen every night, but traditional rivalry games are always fun.
When you hear the word “leadership” who are the guys that come to mind in 2023? We have a lot of players who demonstrate leadership which make this team so fun to coach.
Nick Worrell (Jr.), Drew Wells (Sr.), Connor Radford (So.), Jayden Mathews (Sr.), Ryan Bass (So.), Joe Glover (So.), Caleb Maddrey (Jr.), Seth Evans (So.), Thomas Daniel (Jr.), Lance Stott (Sr.)
Bold prediction – What’s your gut tell you about the 2023 year?
My gut tells me that we could have some ups and downs due to our youth, but at the end of the season we could be tough to beat if we can stay healthy.
Below I’m going to list adjectives, list the player on the 2023 roster who it describes:
Gamer: Thomas Daniel (Jr. OF)
Hitterish: Connor Radford (So. SS/RHP)
Bulldog: Tyson Foster (So. 3B/RHP)
Selfless: Ryan Bass (So. C)
Competitor: Nick Worrell (Jr. OF/RHP)