Cameron High is probably used to All-Southern Piedmont Conference honors.
The four-year West Lincoln starter was named to the All-SPC baseball team for each of his four years in high school, but he wrapped up a stellar 2013 campaign by being named Player of the Year by the conference’s coaches.
“He came in as a freshman and had to assume the No. 1 pitcher responsibility,” West Lincoln head coach Allan Chapman said. “He earned it. There were other people capable of that job but he earned it and he’s never looked back since. He’s a hard worker. He wants to be a baseball player and he sacrifices a lot to make sure that happens. He’s good in the classroom. He’s a high-character young man and he’s been a pleasure to be around for the past four years.”
High, a Tusculum College signee, logged an 8-2 record for the season, with a 6-1 mark in Southern Piedmont Conference games. He was also a force for the Rebels at the plate with a .275 batting average, 22 hits in 80 at-bats, 18 RBIs, five runs scored and 13 walks.
Chapman said High was one of the players his team looked up to.
“The guys know who has worked the hardest; they know who has put the most work in during the offseason,” he said. “Those are the guys who have a voice in the huddle and those are the guys that everyone follows and listens to. Cameron’s not real outspoken but when he says something they listened.
He was our guy. They believed that every time he went on the mound we were going to win.”
Chapman, who led the Rebels to the Southern Piedmont Conference regular-season title and a fourth-round exit from the 2A state playoffs, was named Coach of the Year.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by your peers but it says more about the players than it does about me,” he said.
Chapman said the camaraderie of this year’s team helped them have such a strong season.
“They truly loved being around each other both on the field and off the field,” he said. “They were hanging out with one another before the game, after the game. They spent all their time together and when we got in those close games they were committed to not letting each other down. They knew what we were there for.”
Chapman also acknowledged the help he received from pitching coach Sean Andrews and assistant coach Brad Gates.
“He does a tremendous job,” Chapman said of Andrews. “I basically turn over all the pitching responsibilities to him and I have confidence that on game day they’re going to be ready.”
Gates played under Chapman while a student at West Lincoln and focuses on defense and the infield for the team.
“He’s a great guy for the kids to be around,” Chapman said. “He played for me and he’s coached with me for about eight years. He knows the system we want to run and I totally trust him with any aspect of our game.”
Second-place East Lincoln’s selections to the All-Conference team were Western Carolina signee Addison Parrish, Catawba Valley Community College signee Clay Hodges, Methodist University signee Darin Salter and Danny Sullivan.
North Lincoln’s Justin Norton, Brian Seymour and Aaron Studdard made the list for the Knights. Lincolnton’s Bradley Franklin was the Wolves’ lone selection.
West Lincoln’s additions to the all-conference team were Chandler Jenkins, Derrick Braun, Brett Huff and Alec Johnson.