Evans junior Kevin Mill-ward has entertained Knights fans in more ways than one during his high school career. As the school's starting quarterback, all-state punter and starting third baseman, his accolades over the past 2 years surpass those of many four-year starters.
Evans baseball coach Ricky Beale saw the talent early.
"Kevin came to my camps as a seventh-grader," he said. "He hit a couple out of here even then."
As if the strength of his hitting and pitching weren't enough, the junior third baseman/pitcher has another skill up his sleeve.
"We had him behind the plate some during the summer," Evans baseball coach Ricky Beale said. "He hadn't done it a whole lot (in the past), but with his build and body it's worked out well."
Evans fans can see Millward crouching behind the plate as early as Monday. That's when the Knights begin the 2007 baseball season with a home-opener against Burke County at 5 p.m.
Beale said the switch to catcher came out of necessity. Last season's starter, Wes Baxter, is now playing college baseball, and the potential starters this season are a pair of inexperienced junior varsity players.
"You can't just throw anybody out there," Beale said. "In that position they've got to have time."
Until then, Millward might see quite a few innings behind the plate. It's been a while since he put on the chest protector, but it won't be the first time.
"I did it when I was younger," Millward said. "It's always been in the back of my mind each year (to make the switch to catcher). Really with my build and body size it would be good for me to play there at the next level."
At 6-0, 200 pounds, Millward has grown in strength and size since last season. The expectations placed on him have also grown.
"He's one of those guys who's got to step up in leadership," Beale said. "He definitely has the chance to play baseball at the next level."
Beale said Millward will still see time at third base and pitcher. The junior is expected to serve as the No. 2 pitcher behind senior Kyle Golden.
Brandon Donovan and Troy Williams, two underclassmen who have yet to see any significant varsity playing time, are two other possibilities at catcher. Beale said the two younger players will still have an opportunity to earn the starting job during preseason practices.
"These kids come out here, and they still expect to produce," he said. "They'll have their chance."
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