EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is an article from Avery Davis, a student contributor from David Crockett High School. To submit your student photos or articles, email us at [email protected]
By AVERY DAVIS
The David Crockett High School baseball season is soon to be underway with some special talent such as young gun Gage Peterson.
Peterson is sophomore who has never played an inning of varsity baseball. However, his teammates, coaches, and friends know that he has something special to offer his team.
“I started off playing t-ball around Lamar and then I got into travel ball when I was 6 or 7 years old,” Peterson said. “I played for Lamar’s school team as soon as I could try out. I played some basketball till my freshman year and then quit to focus on baseball.”
It was at his freshman tryouts that David Crockett Head Baseball Coach Spencer Street and Pitching Coach Jacob Adkins noticed that Peterson possessed a special talent for throwing.
“We were going through normal tryout stuff such as swapping between infield and outfield,” Street said. “Gage was on third base and Coach Adkins was next to me.
“Coach Adkins picked up a ball and threw it to third base and I said, ‘That kid is going to throw it really hard one day.’ The ball just came out good and we knew we had something special right there.”
“The first time I really saw Gage was at his freshman tryouts and I was watching him throw in the outfield,” Adkins said. “The first time he threw the baseball I said, ‘Look at his arm action.’ He was 14 then and he has really grown and matured since then. That summer he was throwing the ball 84 and 85 miles per hour.”
Peterson has attended a few camps and workouts at local colleges such as East Tennessee State University and Milligan University. His biggest showcasing though was at the Prep Baseball Report in Chattanooga.
“He was throwing in bullpens at like 85 and 87 miles per hour there and I told him, ‘Dude, you will get some major adrenaline when you get in a situation here with like scouts in the stands. You’re going to throw harder out there,’” said Reed Hayes, a former Science Hill standout and current pitcher in the Orioles organization.
“He got out to the showcase and there were about 10 scouts and a couple agents and he came up to me and was shaking and he said, ‘I’m about to explode I’ve got so much adrenaline.
“Everyone before him was throwing between 82 and 87 miles per hour and he stepped out there and threw 91 and 92 consistently.”
According to his Crockett teammates, Peterson is not only valuable on the field, but is also an outstanding team player due to his attitude and leadership by actions.
“Gage is a great guy,” fellow Pioneers pitcher Garrison Richardson said. “He is funny and always has a smile on his face and really picks the team up on rough days.”
The David Crockett Pioneer baseball team is returning seniors like Cody Wheely and Johnny Lloyd and aims to lead the Big Seven Conference after Crockett’s season was cut short last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I definitely feel like we don’t only want to win a lot this year for ourselves,” Peterson said, “but for the seniors who didn’t get to have their season last year.
“Personally, I just want to improve my throwing throughout the season and help the team win.”
With Peterson and a chip on their shoulder, the Pioneer baseball team is set to begin its season on Monday, March 15, at 5:30 p.m. against conference opponent Volunteer High School for the first game of the season.