Scott's Leadership Impacts Hopewell
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Jun 11, 2014, 08:43
HOPEWELL — Blue Devils' starting shortstop Trent Scott sat by his pool last weekend, enjoying the good weather with friends and family before checking his phone and receiving a complete shock. As Scott scrolled through his Twitter timeline, he saw his name attached to the words, 'Conference Player of the Year.'
Immediately, Scott ran over to his father, the man who taught him the game of baseball and coached him up until he was 12 years old, to tell him about the accomplishment. It was an exciting moment to share for the both of them as they realized how far Scott had come over the last few years, but the junior also excited for other reasons.
Scott eyed his timeline and also saw his teammates were among those selected as part of the All-Conference 26 Team. He read off Will Avery, Neeyamyah Nunez, Roman Acord and Cameron Hill as other First-Team members and he immediately filled himself with more excitement. The junior who helped lead Hopewell through and up-and-down campaign before capturing a Conference 26 Tournament couldn't suppress his happiness for his teammates over himself.
Scott saw how hard they worked each and every day. He watched as they never gave up through the struggles of this past season and witnessed everything fall into place during a Conference title run. It's why he immediately started to place phone calls to his teammates, congratulating them on their most recent accomplishment.
"We were having a little cook-out and the first thing I did was tell my dad because he was right beside me," Scott said of discovering he had won the award. "We were excited and then I called Cameron. I was just as excited for him to be on the First-Team as a second baseman as I was for my own awards."
And his actions would just be the continuation of what Scott had done all season long.
Three years prior, Scott had earned spot on the varsity baseball team as a freshman. While starting, he earned his spot by hitting close to .300 all season long, but also studied the habits of the older players. He knew that if he were to take the next step, he would need to develop his own leadership skills.
However, the first step would be a rocky one. Scott pressed during his sophomore season as he aimed to prove himself to be one of the leaders on the team, struggling to find the form he flashed during his freshman season. The struggle only fueled him more to be better in a junior year he would be expected to lead while the Blue Devils would be filled with more underclassman than seniors.
And Scott delivered on the challenge he set for himself. He became a quiet leader on the field, encouraging teammates to keep their heads up after making a mistake, calling for rallies in the dugout and supplying key hits whenever the Blue Devils needed it.
"I knew I had to step up because we didn't have many seniors," Scott said of his mindset entering the season. "We were young and I knew I had to step up and lead the younger guys."
Added Hopewell manager Bobby Pershing, "Last year was an off-year for him and he'd be the first one to admit that. But this year, he's made all type of adjustments and improvements in all phases of his game. For him to be named a player of the year, it's well-deserved for someone who is pretty much the leader on our team."
Hopewell's baseball program will continue to look toward Scott next season as they aim to build off the success they had this past season.
The Blue Devils' Conference 26 Tournament appearance was their first postseason nod in a decade while capturing the first-ever Conference 26 Tournament title and with it, a berth into the Region Tournament. Hopewell did all of this with a solid core of younger players who have only gained from the experience.
While the Blue Devils suffered through the ups and downs of the baseball season, the team never lost focus or quit on themselves. No matter how much the deficit was or how bleak the circumstances, they tried to rally together. As the season wore on, the team began to play up to its talents.
There was the small-ball mentality of executing perfect bunts, moving runners over on ground-balls and driving them in. There was the one-hitter tossed by Avery and the 6-inning effort from Andy Howell in the Conference Championship game. Each player had their own moment of importance and it has created the perfect stepping stone.
"We never gave up in any game and showed we were ready to fight," Scott said of the team. "We worked hard in practice and in every game ... Winning the championship was a good step in building the program into what it should be."
Hopewell's season may have ended with an early ouster in the Region Tournament, but with Scott returning along with a veteran core, success is sure to follow for the Blue Devils' leader and the program as a whole.