CARRIERE, MS (WLOX) - Pearl River Central High School is well known for its excellence on the diamond, and one of the star players is also finding success in the classroom.
“The really great players, what they do is they say they make other players better, and I think he does that for sure," said head coach Neal Walther.
Walther knows a thing or two about phenomenal ball players. The Blue Devils are regular post-season participants, and that can be largely attributed to the work ethics some of their star players.
“People usually say you have an off season, but when you get to this level and you have these types of goals, you don’t have an off season," he said.
That dedication to success is one of the many reasons senior Hayden Dunhurst was selected as the Scholar Athlete of the Week. He has a 3.9 GPA and has helped lead the Blue Devils to a 13-4 start to the season.
“Everybody kind of thought it was going to be a rebuilding season for us, but we’re the Blue Devils. We win and we’re just going to continue to win. That is what we do and we are ready for another state championship,” Dunhurst said.
Dunhurst’s ability behind home plate is astounding. It even shocks a former professional.
“And he done it the other day. I was like wow, I wish I could have done that when I was in high school," said assistant coach Ashley Graeter. "He packpicked a guy at first base, and it was like he just threw it out of his right ear. Just right on the side. So yeah, he is special.”
It is a belief all of his teammates share.
“You can look up to him and see how he carries himself on and off the field," said teammate Robert Shoemake. "How he reacts to the different situations, the hard situations, the easy situations, and you can learn from him and follow him and just pretty much go off what he does.”
Dunhurst believes his success is due to a couple of different factors, one of which is his ability to learn from his failures.
“No fear to have any failures. No fear to lose at all because you can’t ever get better if you don’t ever fail or lose. So, not that I want to lose or like to lose but I despise it,” he said.
His hatred of failure has many Blue Devils hoping for another State title.
The Ole Miss Commit also emphasized how important his family’s support has been throughout his life. If he does attend college, Dunhurst said he may pursue a degree in physical therapy.