Faces in KS: Hunter Reed

Hunter Reed of Oskaloosa has 130 career hits. (photo: Jill Hast Guilfoyle)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
May 4, 2019

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Oskaloosa High School senior Hunter Reed has been a mainstay for his schools baseball team over the last four springs and is on the verge of some state records. 

Reed can play multiple spots on the infield and outfield but where he really shines is on the mound. He has 47 strikeouts this season in 30.1 innings pitch with a 1.37 ERA. He has walked just six batters on six total earned runs in 2019. Reed is also hitting .643 this year with 32 hits and 19 RBI. He is 18-7 in his high school career on the mound.

He was a 2-1A Sports in Kansas All-State selection last year as a junior and all-state as a utility player as a sophomore. Reed has 130 hits in his high school career which is nine away from the Kansas state record of 139 by Conner VanCleave (Holcomb -2017) and David Jaynes (Bishop Ward - 1999). Oskaloosa also lost four games due to cancellations this year on a shortened schedule but picked up wins cause of forfeits. They are currently 12-6 on the year.

Reed is also eight runs and 11 stolen bases away from tying those state records. A lot lays on the line for him with two regular season games remaning and then of course the 2019 post season.

Reed is also a solid basketball player with all-league and all-state honorable mention honors this past March with 16.8 points per game and 4.5 assists per contest. 

We caught up with the oustanding senior below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.

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Perry Milling Feed & Supply is proud to support Hunter Reed as he chases state records this season. Congrats to him and Oskaloosa on all of their sucess.  Perry Milling Feed & Supply, To be the best, feed the best! 

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Q&A w/ Reed

How did you get involved in baseball?

  • I’ve been playing baseball for as long as I can remember. It started off just like any other kid, their parents just throw them into their local coach pitch team.

What are your goals this season?

  • I want to have a shot at going to the state tournament. The previous 3 years of my high school career we have always played in the game to qualify for state, also being the first team in school history to qualify for the state tournament.

Do you guys have a shot to do big things this year?

  • We lost a lot with our senior class last year, so we’ve had to have a lot of underclassmen  step up and get a lot of Varsity time. I don’t think being a very young team can limit what we can do. There’s a lot of potential with our team, we just need the younger guys to realize that.

What makes you such a force as an athlete?

  • Work ethic and mentality. You can be one of the most gifted athletes around, but if you don’t put in the work during the off season you’re always starting at square one, where other people that put the work in have been progressing their game before the season even starts. You also can’t allow what’s happening during the course of game or what your opponents say or do take you out of a game, you need to be able to stay locked in and do your part at all times to be successful.

What’s the atmosphere like to play sports for your school and town?

  • Playing for a small town is something special to say the least. It’s just like having a big family, everyone comes out and supports your team, and everyone knows you one way or another. Even if the team hasn’t been having the best year you still have the community, alumni, and friends and family come out to support every night.

For anyone that hasn’t seen you or your team compete, why come and support?

  • Nobody likes a bandwagon fan. We may not be as good as we have in previous years, but the underclassmen have the opportunity to be something special.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a competitor?

  • I’ve always relied on my quick hands and feet. It’s always been an advantage for me because I’ve always been one of the quickest and most coordinated kids on the field. One of my weaknesses is that I’m undersized, I don’t use it as an excuse because you don’t need size to be great, but it definitely could be helpful at times.

Do you play in the summer as well and what team, how is that?

  • I’ve played with the Oskaloosa River Bandits legion team the past 3 summers, it’s been a great experience. The coaching staff has always been great to me, and the team has helped out our high school program as well. This summer I will be playing with the Baldwin City Blues which is a wood bat collegiate team in the Mid Plains League. There I’m hoping to get a lot of college level experience this summer.

Who are other key athletes on your team we need to look for?

  • Time will tell. Our underclassmen have a lot of potential, but they need to keep putting in work if they want to be something special.

Favorite thing about baseball?

  • I love that it’s such a mental game. It’s very easy to be bored playing the game if you don’t understand everything going on, especially since it’s a “slower paced” game you have to bring your own intensity to it.

How cool is the state baseball experience if you’ve been? 

  • My sophomore year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pitch the first state baseball game in our schools history. I’ve never experienced anything like it, it’s definitely something I’ll never forget.

Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?

  • I played basketball all 4 years, during those 4 years I’ve been our starting point guard each year. Being the point guard in basketball has helped me in many other ways. It helped me learn to be a leader and to take control of the game or situation.
  • I played football for 2 years of high school. I played as a slot receiver, a running back and briefly as a quarterback on offense, then I played corner and safety on the defensive side of the ball. I decided to sit my senior year out due to a knee injury I had sustained my junior year that I was still not fully recovered from.

What is it like to compete for your coach?

  • It’s been great. I hate hearing about kids quitting or not going out for sports because of a coach, but that should never be a problem for the baseball program as long as Coach Stott is here. I’ve never had a coach so willing to put in extra time on the weekends or days off if kids are wanting to get work in, or if there is some sort of problem that he can help out in anyway he’s already on it before you could even mention it to him. He makes everyone feel important and gives the team that family bond. He has also really helped me get my name out there for recruitment and I can’t thank him enough.

What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?

  • A lot of the younger guys started playing on a fall ball team to help prepare them for high school ball. I didn’t end up playing with them during the fall, but during basketball season I started coming into school at 6A.M. to really drill fundamentals at the plate and in the field.

What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?

  • I’ve been recruited by a handful of JUCO and NAIA colleges, but have not accepted any scholarships thus far. Currently my plans are to attend Washburn University and major in Kinesiology, unless baseball takes me down a different path.

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?

  • When I’m not playing sports or working, I typically just lay around the house with my dog, Tank.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  • In 10 years I plan to have finished all my schooling, to have obtained my doctorate, and be working as a physical therapist.

Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you?

  • My favorite class I’ve taken during high school is Anatomy and Physiology. It’s interesting to me to understand how the human body functions. I’m a pretty straightforward student, I don’t like to have everything sugarcoated. I would much rather have a lecture then get our assignment than sit around and waste time.

Who is your role model?

  • It’s hard to say 1 individual that I look up too. There’s been so many people like friends and family that have always been there for me.

Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?

  • Fajitas. It’s a New Mexican restaurant that opened right off the highway at the south end of town. It’s a nice place to go sit down and eat with your buddies after work, or a game during the summer.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?

  • I have a bowl of cereal everyday.