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Hite seeks new heights with academic focus

South Boston News
Hite / May 06, 2020
When Bluestone senior Josh Hite began spring, the thought uppermost in his mind was being able to enjoy his final year as a Baron student-athlete.

Hite, who turns 18 Friday, had already completed his final season as a Baron cross-country runner. But his expectation of playing the game he loves most — baseball — would not happen with the COVID-19 pandemic altering almost every facet of people’s lives, sports included.

To make matters worse, the Barons baseball team didn’t schedule any preseason games. So, even the opportunity to put on the new uniforms the team had purchased ahead of scrimmage play never materialized.

Hite — a pitcher, outfielder and team captain — said although he and his teammates understood the enormity of the coronavirus, not having a senior season was a real blow.

“I had played ball the first three years of high school and was really looking forward to playing senior season,” Hite said. “It really hit me hard and all the seniors that play a sport in the spring, knowing that everything you worked on since you were little and growing up playing the game and getting better at it, has just stopped. For some of us, we didn’t know it was the last time we would’ve stepped on the field.

“The virus has affected the community from doing things and being more careful when going to the store or being around other people.”

Hite had been working towards his senior baseball season for a long time. The Beta Club and Future Farmers of America member taking to the diamond before he was five years old.

“When I was three years old I started playing baseball at Shaver Field in Clarksville,” Hite remembered. “Ever since I played there I loved the game and how it worked. Being with friends on the field and competing with each other was really exciting and attracted me to keep on playing.”

After developing his game in Dixie Youth, Hite broaden his skills by participating on several travel teams. Like other high school players that join a travel team, Hite said the experience helped him to grow — teaching him more than just how to play the game.

“When I was 10 years old I started playing travel ball with the Mecklenburg Monarchs from South Hill and stayed with them until I was 11,” Hite stated. “After that I played with the Sharks from South Hill for a few tournaments, then went on to play with the Granville Storm from Creedmoor, N.C. until I was 14 years old.

“I played with the Storm for three years then went to play with another team since the team dissolved. I went to play with the Southside Panthers [in Halifax] for another three years and later on I played for another team called Virginia Breeze from Chesterfield for one year.

“Playing the game has really taught me a lot, being around people you don’t know and learning from each other. Playing travel ball for a lot of years got me used to traveling all over the East Coast and playing at D1, D2, and D3 colleges.”

The time spent with those teams helped Hite succeed at baseball as he came up through middle and high school.

“Other than playing baseball in middle and high school, I ran cross country my sophomore, junior, and senior year,” Hite said. “When I was a freshman I played a few games (baseball) with the jayvee team and on our fourth or fifth game I was brought up to varsity and finished the year with them and received my varsity letter.

“My sophomore year I was injured due to a torn labrum in my throwing shoulder, so I wasn’t able to throw at all but the doctor said I could hit, so I was the designated hitter the whole year and made the first team All-District as a DH and received the offensive award. Junior year I recovered from my injury and made first team All-District as an outfielder.”

Hite said he likes spending time with his girlfriend and fishing with his parents and friends since schools have closed. Hite, a member and treasurer of the Mecklenburg High School Fishing Team, said a typical day is now spent working with family and being around the ones he cares most about.

“I cut grass at home, our farm, and my grandparents,” Hite said. “If I’m not at the house, I am either with my girlfriend riding four-wheelers or fishing with her or I’m by the lake catfishing with mom and dad.”

Hite is the son of Eddie and Pamela Hite. “I am the only child in the family — wishing I had a little brother to pick on,” he laughed.

Hite hadn’t planned on continuing his baseball career at the college level. Determining he wanted to concentrate on his studies, the dedication to his high school studies has led to him attending Ferrum on scholarship.

“I plan on attending Ferrum College in the fall, but I was not planning on playing ball in college,” Hite said. “I am looking forward to become a Fisheries Biologists. [I] received an academic scholarship to Ferrum College.”

While some senior athletes are trying to stay in top physical order as they prepare to go off to college and play sports, Hite says he’s not putting too much effort in fitness right now. He added with a laugh, “I am just enjoying the downtime for now but I tell my mom almost every day that my definition of staying in shape, is lifting the fish outta the water.”

As he approaches his high school graduation date, the Clarksville native expressed gratitude for being raised in Lake Country and his time at Bluestone.

“I have always lived in Clarksville,” Hite said. “It has been really enjoyable growing up in a small town like Clarksville where most of the people know each other.

“My time at Bluestone has been a good one from walking up and down the halls listening to the people screaming for no reason to sitting in classes laughing with my friends.”

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