Evart freshman misses out on baseball season



EVART -- Cole Hopkins has had a unique freshman athletic season.

He just wishes it had continued into the spring season.

Hopkins was slated to be a valuable contributor for coach Josh Johnson's Evart baseball team.

"Cole Hopkins will help Reese (Ransom) with the catching load," Johnson said in preseason comments. "Cole is a good-looking young athlete who so far has really impressed the coaches with his skills behind the plate. He will also play some outfield and potentially third baseman for this team."

Hopkins didn't get the chance for his varsity debut because of the Coronavirus attack.

"I've been playing baseball since I was 4 and I'm 15 now," Hopkins said. "A couple of weeks before we started practice (March 9), coach Johnson called me into his room and asked me if I'd like to get moved up and help his team. I want to help the team in any way I can."

As a catcher, "I have a good idea of the field and I can gun it if they try to steal on me," Hopkins said, adding as an outfielder, "I think I'm really fast. I can get to a lot of balls that are hit far away."

Had there been a season, Hopkins had a goal of hitting around .300, while realizing the transition to the high school level poses a new challenge.

"You have to get used to the timing," Hopkins said. "There's a pitching change difference, going from guys who can't pitch that fast to good high school pitchers."

The news of the spring sports season cancellation came on April 3.

"I was really heartbroken, especially for those seniors who have worked so hard," Hopkins said. "I was super sad I couldn't play for them."

Hopkins played JV football in the fall and could be on the varsity in 2020. He's a linebacker and running back. As a freshman, he was a successful wrestler and placed seventh in the state.

"I think I'm best at wrestling," Hopkins said.

He hasn't heard about summer activities.

"We have been doing Zoom workout calls with our football team to try staying in shape during this break," Hopkins said.