SETH - It has been 23 years since the Sherman baseball team has sniffed a West Virginia state high school championship game. The Tide fell to Independence in the Class AA title 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.
Coach Jeremiah Pettry realizes that the chance to coach a student-athlete like first baseman John Hunter doesn't come along very often.
"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 4. 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 doubleheader against Ravenswood, the left-handed slugger was hitting a cool .531 with five home runs, 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 and fanning 51 batters in 361/3 innings. Over the last two seasons, Hunter has developed a knuckleball that has been a challenge for Tide catchers to corral.