The Carroll baseball team was among the strongest in the state once again this past season and a big part of the reason why was the play of catcher Nic Motley.
Motley hit .302 with five doubles in an injury shortened season in 2014 and coach Larry Hughes said he brings a lot to the table.
“He's going to be a senior, and he made varsity as a sophomore,” Hughes said. “He was such a good hitter that, even though he was a back up that year, he ended up being our DH for most of that season. He ended that year being our top hitter in the playoffs.
“This past year, he broke his foot in the third tournament of the season, so he missed most of district and just made it back before the playoffs. He's a tremendous player who will probably get a D-I scholarship. He's a great kid and a big leader for us. I expect the same from him this year.”
Hughes said there are a couple of things he would like for Motley to work on in the off season.
“As a catcher, you always want to work at getting better at getting rid of the ball quicker,” Hughes said. “You just want to work on the little things that catcher's do. He is a tremendous player, though – a good athlete. He'll be a big part of our team.”
Carroll advanced four rounds in the playoffs this past season, and Motley said he was pretty pleased with how his team performed.
“It was a good season,” Motley said. “It was tough for me, because three days before district, I broke my foot. I was out for six to seven weeks, and I didn't really get back to 100 percent at the plate when I got back. But we have an awesome team, and when I got hurt, we had another guy step up and do a great job for us.”
Motley said he wants to work on getting stronger and more consistent at the plate this off season and said his goals are for Carroll to make as deep a run into the playoffs as possible.
“We're going to need to have our pitchers step up and keep us in games, and our offense is going to be very important next season,” Motley said. “I would say our offense is going to be a big part of how we do next year.”
Hughes said that Motley will be a big part of any success the Dragons enjoy next season.
“Everybody thinks that the pitcher is the quarterback of your team, but it's more the catcher,” Hughes said. “On the high school level, especially, you've got to have a strong catcher, or it definitely shows. It's really important to have somebody strong back there, and he definitely is.”