Nebraska City’s Post 8 Senior ball players, Dylan Knoell and Clay Stovall have a lot in common on the ball field, but when it comes to age, there is a difference.
Knoell is the veteran leader and the 15 year old Stovall, is a young athlete with a promising future.
Both players have showed that great leadership and hard work pays off. Knoell leads Nebraska City with a .413 batting average. Right behind him is Stovall who is hitting .410.
Coach James Widoe expressed how Knoell is the “heart and soul” of the team by showing up early and helping the younger guys improve. “Every single thing he does is max effort all the time,” Widoe said.
As the injuries piled up this season, Stovall has stepped up and played a solid role and is a lot like Knoell when it comes to being able to play multiple positions. Stovall has a natural ability to make things look easy and smooth especially at the shortstop position. “His fundamentals and mechanics are so good,” said Widoe.
In 16 games, Knoell has stepped to the plate 60 times and Stovall 44. Getting the bat on the ball and swinging at good pitches have helped these players have a successful year. Knoell has struck out four times and Stovall five.
In 13 of the last 16 games, Knoell has had at least one hit or more during the 2018 season. In 11 of 12 games, Stovall has had a hit including a three hit night against Seward on June 6.
In baseball it’s the little things that matter. Stovall has committed two errors in 35 chances and has taken on the full-time role at shortstop and Knoell is second on the team with 64 put outs.
Coach Widoe mentioned that Stovall and Knoell are players that are always focused on what is in front of them. “Their approach is the same no matter who we play,” Widoe said. For example; When the opposing pitcher is warming up or facing a batter, Knoell and Stovall are on the on-deck circle trying to get the pitchers timing down. Players seem to take for granted the little things like that.
To have a guy that is 15 years old and that has been successful like Stovall has been, Coach Widoe is excited for the future. “I’m really excited to have him especially at such a key position,” Widoe said.
Widoe went on to explain how important it is to be strong up the middle when playing defense. With Knoell at catcher, Stovall at shortstop, and a talented outfield, this season will only get better.