HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Whether they’re carrying on in the dugout or photobombing an interview, the Huntington Highlanders baseball team likes to have fun.
“All of these guys are true brothers,” Head Coach John Dennison said.
The past two seasons, Huntington has turned into a serious force on the diamond. In just a short time, Dennison has brought consistency to the club. The Highlanders won 21 games last season and are 9-3 this year.
“The biggest key that we have is this group of kids has really bought into the program aspect,” Dennison said. “We’re getting in the weight room in the offseason, they’re continuing their conditioning, working on their baseball skills. A couple of kids have really taken into the program and have stepped up big time and have done great for us.”
This roster is among the most experienced in the Mountain State. 16 seniors make up the roster and that chemistry is helping them win games.
“Most of us have been playing together since we were nine and the chemistry is just huge,” senior pitcher Braden Austin said. “It really helps us out there especially in close games we got each other’s backs.”
The energy at practice shows up in games. The Huntington dew crew was formed last spring and is a staple at athletic events.
Whether they’re crushing pops or cheering on the team, their presence adds an extra flair and maybe an advantage at home games.
“It’s amazing,” senior Lukas Conn said. “The support they bring and they bring out the numbers that they have here, it’s awesome. We absolutely love it. It gives us definitely a good confidence going into the games knowing that you have a good student section and a good group of fans behind you.”
Huntington is trying to prove they’re one of the top teams in the Class AAA. They’ll have a tough test, playing Morgantown, Buckhannon-Upshur, East Fairmont and Bridgeport in the McDonald’s Classic.
Regardless of this season’s result, the seniors are paving the way for the future of Highlander baseball.
“It’s truly helping the junior class,” Dennison said. “It’s letting them know what true leadership looks like, lead by example. They’re learning it’s not a me, it’s a we.”