Fred West on the mound for the Tornadoes (Source: WALB)
Valerie West, his mother, taking down stats for the team (Source: WALB)
West and his coach Jamine Turner (Source: WALB)
West also played basketball on the team that made the Elite 8 (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Frederick West plays every position for Monroe High School. For his travel ball team he prefers the outfield, but his athleticism and smarts allow him to fill any hole for the tornadoes.
For a squad that shares several athletes from the basketball team--including West, that means being the leader and helping some of the lesser skilled players commit fewer mistakes.
"When I'm out there, I talk it up," said West. "I'm not perfect, I make errors too. But you have to keep your head up, keep fighting."
"It's hard to find kids like Fred," said his head coach Jamine turner. "He helps me with a lot of guys with fundamentals on the field because a lot of the stuff he knows that a lot of the guys don't know. That's actually a help to our coaching staff."
West picked up baseball at the age of 3. His mother was a hall-of-famer at her high school in softball, and his father was an excellent baseball player. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
"It's just natural born talent," said his mother Valerie West. "I'm just so happy and excited for him. He's not there yet, and there's always room for improvement, but I'm so proud of him. Every time I look at him out there playing I just see how he's grown."
As proud as she is about his athletic growth, she knows his 3.5 GPA is even more important if we wants to attend his target school--the University of Florida.
And just like mamma taught him, he did his homework and knows exactly why.
"Cause they have a good team, they're 25-3 this season," said West. "They're my favorite school; they're well coached."
And the man who has coached him for the past three years has undying confidence for his guy's ceiling.
"He's one of the kids, you just never have to say anything to," said Turner. "He's a very good leader. I think Fred will go a long way."