The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

June 17, 2014

Norman realizes dream, signs with Marshall

FAIRMONT — Every kid has a dream when they’re young.

Some want to be firemen; some want to be astronauts. But Austin Norman? He wanted to play college baseball.

The first-team All-State selection in football and baseball made his dream come true Monday as he signed to play baseball with Marshall University.

For Norman, the lingering desire to play college baseball started out early in life.

Asked when he first knew that’s what he wanted to do, Norman smiled and said, “As a little kid.” 

“Growing up, I always wanted to play college baseball. I've had a good two years and Division I came around and I took it,” Norman said of his decision.

After throwing for over 2,000 yards during the football season and blasting 12 home runs while hitting for a .418 average, Norman could have gone in multiple directions when making the ultimate decision for his collegiate career.

But it was always baseball in the forefront.

“I’ve had people always tell me to stick to baseball, but I played all three between football, basketball and baseball,” he said. “But I’ve finally found one that I love and I'm glad it's baseball.”

While he signed, Norman was surrounded by the four other senior baseball players as well as various other coaches, friends and family members.

As Norman addressed the media, he even had asked to have the cameras turned back on so that he could thank all of them.

“They’ve been there through the hard times, and there are many more to come,” he said afterward, “and they’ll be there for that, too.”

Norman will play in a familiar place for the next few seasons, having played games at Appalachian Power Park where Marshall plays its home games in each of the last four seasons as the Polar Bears made trips to the state baseball tournament.

What’s more familiar will be his position on the field, as he’ll look to crack the Thundering Herd lineup in the outfield.

Norman, though, believes that his work ethic will land him a starting spot before too long.

“Hard work and always doing the best I can,” Norman said when asked what he could take away from his time at Fairmont Senor. “Hopefully with those I can get a starting position.”

That work ethic was made more than evident this past year as the senior battled through a painful ankle injury at the end of the Polar Bears’ football season.

But through the countless hours of rehab and offseason workouts, Norman always kept his eye on the prize.

“Never did I think I lost my shot (to play a Division I sport),” Norman said.

Along with playing baseball at Marshall, Norman will major in education, saying that the school “sold” him on its education program during a visit before his commitment.

Along with teaching, Norman plans to coach any sport which comes available to him, just like he did when choosing which sports to play.

That’s if MLB doesn’t come calling first.

Email Matt Welch at or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

Text Only
Prep Sports
  • Different stressors lead to multiple issues for athletes

    Juggling multiple things as a teenager is never an easy task and can be quite taxing on your body — mentally and physically.
    There are many psychological and sociological reasons why teens participate in multiple sports or why they choose to specialize in one particular sport.

    July 20, 2014

  • Question marks linger at RB position for Bees

    Players come and go but when they leave, question marks are left behind.
    That’s the case for the East Fairmont football team as August quickly approaches.
    Last year the Bees leaned on a core of running backs to strengthen both the passing and ground attacks, with backs like Scotty Shroyer and Ronnie Mills lining up at all different kinds of positions.

    July 19, 2014

  • Boddy handoff mw.jpg Boddy poised to make leap to feature back

    It takes a unique skillset to do what Malik Boddy does for the Fairmont Senior football team.
    The running back/defensive back/return specialist steps into a more called-upon roll this season for the Polar Bears.
    But before you look at this season’s workload, you must look back on his past roles.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • (MAIN) Taylor kicking-MW.jpg Buonamici hopes to follow in Knight's footsteps

    “I’ve got to end it on a make,” Taylor Buonamici said after the ball she kicked narrowly missed the uprights at Duvall-Rosier Field.
    She placed the football back onto the tee, sized up the yellow field goal posts, took a deep breath and began her trek.
    Three steps back, two steps to the right.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redmond comfortable leading Huskies’ power running game

    Football is known by many to be the sport of traditions.
    For North Marion’s football team, that tradition is being a smashmouth, downhill, physical football team. And that starts with the players carrying the football.

    July 15, 2014

  • Balance key to preventing youth sports burnout

    Unless you’ve just won a NASCAR race, burning out is not a good thing.
    All too often it seems that athletes are being pushed to a highly competitive level at a younger age each and every year.
    Studies from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine have shown that an estimated 27 million youth in the United States between the ages of 6 and 18 play team sports; 60 million play at least one sport and 44 million play multiple sports.

    July 13, 2014

  • Bees’ OL poised to lead team in right direction

    Getting your team out of a funk can sometimes be a daunting task.
    For East Fairmont’s football team, it may seem that overcoming a 3-7 season could be a hard-fought battle. But don’t tell the offensive line that.
    “We just want to set a standard,” senior offensive lineman Jacob Brown said.

    July 12, 2014

  • One step closer to dream, Kesling signs with Garrett

    Getting where you want to be is a process. Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling knows that.
    For Kesling, the next step in reaching the ranks of Division I baseball is to fine tune his skills.
    Kesling took that step Friday, signing to play baseball with Garrett County Community College, a junior college in Maryland.

    July 12, 2014

  • One step closer to dream, Kesling signs with Garrett

    Getting to where you want to be is a process. Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling knows that.

    July 11, 2014

  • Young FSHS receivers ready to burst onto scene

    In high school sports, each year could be labeled as a rebuilding year as top players graduate and new ones emerge.
    While Fairmont Senior isn’t ready to call their season a rebuilding one, they will have a new group of playmakers stepping in at a key position: wide receiver.

    July 10, 2014

Featured Ads
Prep Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos