Whitesboro’s Rhett Hunter – Athlete Spotlight Presented by Pine Cellular

By Nick Hampton

Junior Rhett Hunter has come a long way in a short period of time. Unlike a lot of kids, Hunter didn’t really start playing baseball until he was in the seventh grade but has developed into an excellent outfielder and pitcher for the Bulldogs.

“He’s our cleanup hitter and number two pitcher and one of the best outfielders I’ve seen in my 18 years of coaching,” said new Whitesboro head coach Kevin Romine. “He could be our number one pitcher but he’s so valuable in the outfield that we need him there more. I can think of at least four occasions this fall where he’s gone after a ball and laid out vertical and made an outstanding catch.”

As you listen to the coach and player talk, Hunter strikes you as a throw-back to an earlier era of ball players when the game was the thing.

“He’s the type of guy you have to have on your team to be successful,” said Romine. “He just goes out and plays with grit. He was recently pitching and took a line drive off the ankle late in the game. It would have been easy just to say ‘I’ve had enough for today’. But instead he said ‘I want to finish this game out’ and he did.”

As the regular season winds down, Hunter is hitting .379 and is 5-0 on the mound with a 1.6 ERA and the Bulldogs are ranked in Class B’s top 10. Since Whitesboro starts no seniors, Hunter has become a team leader as a junior.

“I think a good leader always believes in his team mates and builds them up no matter what they go through to help them get better,” said Hunter who also plays basketball and is in FFA at Whitesboro. “When you can be successful in baseball it’s one of the best feelings you can ever have.”

That grit and determination that Romine mentioned show up as Hunter talks about the thrill of going after every fly ball hit his way.

“I just love playing outfield. I love going after those balls that kids don’t think I have a chance to get and then see their heads drop when I haul it in,” chuckled Hunter.