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Noblin to continue baseball career at King University

SoVaNow.com / October 26, 2020
Halifax County High School senior Leo Noblin, a pitcher for the varsity baseball team, will play for the King University next year.

“I verbally committed and then I’m going to sign soon,” Noblin said. “I’m going to sign on signing day but I’ve already verbally committed and talked to them and everything.”

Noblin is being signed as a dual-role player. Noblin’s recruitment came about after King University coaches had witnessed his pitching abilities.

“Back in the summer they had obviously watched me pitch somewhere and then I got an email from the coach,” Noblin recalled. “He’s talking to me and everything and wants me to come down for a visit.”

Noblin said as they set a date to visit the university, he knew the coaches were expecting to see a pitcher show up. The Comet senior had other ideas.

“I go down there as what they think as just a pitcher only,” said Noblin, “and I guess of course that’s all they had seen of me. I get down there and pitched in front of them and I’m like, ‘Hey coach I’ve got a pretty nice glove and I can hit a bit. Why don’t you just let me do that and see what you think?’”

When the coaches saw the contribution Noblin could make to the team, an offer to play followed. “Instead of being a pitcher only, they committed me as a two way [player]. I just think it’s awesome that they think I’m good enough to play two positions and it’s just a blessing to me.”

While the coronavirus shut down last season, it didn’t detract from Noblin’s focus to play ball at the next level.

“Working out when everybody else is sitting and watching TV, I’m going to be honest with you, that’s what has put me ahead of everybody else,” Noblin said. “In this time that I’ve gotten, a lot of kids just chilled, relaxed and had a good time with their buddies, treating it like summer break.

“I treated it like springtime because you know we didn’t get a spring season and that’s pretty much your pre-prep for the summer and all the big ballin’ for the college coaches and such. So I just worked out and grinded while everybody else was just waiting to play. And I was waiting to play — but I was making sure I was gonna be hot and ready to go cause we wouldn’t have time. You know it’s not like you have a lot of time to get ready. You go straight into summer ball. I was working my tail off and playing ball.”

Noblin said that while he believes the Comets were poised for a state title run this year, he can also see the same thing happening in the 2020 season — provided it goes forward.

Noblin started playing baseball at the age of two and was participating in travel ball by the time he was seven.

Noblin plays travel ball with the Richmond Braves. All of the players on the Comets have grown up playing ball with each other, thus the closeness and intuitiveness of the team.

“I grew up playing baseball — it’s something that was offered to me and I’ve been doing it ever since I was young,” Noblin said. “I’ve been playing ball since I was three, started travel ball when I was seven and just started playing with the same boys I play with in high school.

“We have probably the best community for local sports just being around here. You know everybody comes out and shows up and we been doing that the same boys since we were three years old.”

The right handed hurler who has played seven sports over his athletic career — “soccer, baseball, football, wrestling, basketball, gymnastic, swim; I did all the above and karate too.” Needless to say, he is ready to get back to the diamond especially after having his spring season canceled due to COVID-19.

Noblin said last season the loss of Christian Worley on the pitching mound was a blow to the team. Yet he believes he and Jaxson Lloyd along with some younger talent will have the team on track for a state title challenge.

“One-hundred percent, our biggest loss was losing Worley that did not help at all,” said Noblin. “Because it would be me, Jaxson besides Lloyd and Worley, which we’d be three really good pitchers going into what would have been my 11th grade year.

“I think that hurt losing Worley but honestly besides losing Worley we’re going to be the same ball team we were going to be last year. And I think that we can make a hell of a run. Lloyd is a heck of a left hand pitcher. I’ve got a decent arm and I think we can go do something.

“We’ve got good sticks; you’ve got young arms that are coming up. I think if we do everything right we can be just as good as last year. Just because the boys — they want it just as bad as I do.”

For student-athletes to reach some level of success in their careers — be it high school or wherever — they need some kind of support system in place. For Noblin, his primary support is his family. He plainly admits he wouldn’t be where he is today without them.

He speaks of his late sister, Olivia — a solid Comet softball player in her own right — who was killed in a tragic accident, not as a memory but as a constant encouragement and reminder for him to stay focused and reach for the best in life.

“Stanley and Emily Noblin are my parents; my sisters are Sara and Olivia,” Noblin said. “Olivia passed away in a car crash back in 2016. She could’ve played college ball anywhere and didn’t get the chance to, so I made it my job to do so.

“My parents have blessed me with more opportunities to get in front of coaches than I can imagine and they have helped me through everything on the way. And to my sister Sara, she’s like the rock that has always held me up and has been the biggest blessing a brother can ask for.”

King University is a private Presbyterian university in Bristol, Tenn.. Founded in 1867, King is independently governed with covenant affiliations to the Presbyterian Church and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

The university supports 28 varsity teams competing in NCAA Division II sports. The Tornado are members of the Carolinas Conference.

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