Leesville Road baseball has always been known for being extremely competitive. Most underclassmen who are lucky enough to make it are put on JV. It is extremely rare for an underclassmen at LRHS to make varsity their first season, but Will Sandy was an exception to this rule. Sandy, only a sophomore, is already ranked as the number one pitcher in the state for his class and is now a starter on the varsity baseball team at Leesville.
Sandy has had a love for America’s pastime since he was six years old and has quickly grown into a standout player with an even quicker pitch. “I’ve been playing for about 10 years,” said Sandy.
Sandy never even thought of his age as a barrier between him and making the varsity team. When asked if he was surprised or shocked when he found out that he made the team, his response was simple.
“Not really, I have pretty high expectations for myself, so I don’t think I was surprised but I was definitely happy”. It is clear Sandy knows his abilities and is ready to take on anything thrown his way this season.
Sandy’s teammates are all more than supportive and accepting of the youngster. Chris Niemasz, a senior, said, “It’s a big jump. I came into the program sophomore year, and played JV and just the level of competition is completely different. I tip my hat to Sandy who is playing at this level at that age because I know when I was that young I wasn’t ready for that.”
Guy Civitello, the head coach for the LRHS varsity team, doesn’t just put any kid on the team.
“Will presents a lot of things he can do well for us. He’s a left handed pitcher, which you don’t really find too many good left handed kids. We see a lot of potential in him, and we’re hoping to ease him into a big role for us.”
Civitello also makes sure to challenge his players in order to get the very best out of them, and each year he sets up his schedule accordingly. “We have a very competitive schedule. We opened up with DH Conley which is the top 4A team in the state and has 3 D1 bound kids, and we’re going to play a very tough tournament over spring break in South Carolina.”
Even with such a trying schedule, Sandy has already managed to get out on the mound and show what he is capable of. He pitched during the DH Conley game, and is expected to pitch in many more difficult games.
Sandy’s story continues to get better. It is rumored that the sophomore is already getting looks from major colleges all over North Carolina. Most sophomores haven’t the slightest idea what college they might want to try and play at, but Sandy is already one step ahead.
Chris Niemasz, one of Sandy’s teammates, tells us that the sophomore can pitch at around 80 mph. Niemasz said, “If you can break 90, you’re pretty much set for D1. So 80’s with some practice and being a lefty, that’s nice.”
Sandy is someone that is going to make a big difference in the varsity team this year, and is someone to keep an eye out for. It’s safe to say big things are coming for the Leesville sophomore.