Newcomb rises to the challenge

Published 8:02 am Thursday, May 21, 2020

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If the COVID-19 pandemic had not prevented Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity baseball team from having a 2020 season, the squad would have had a reliable, encouraging leader in senior Matthew Newcomb, who had proven he could elevate his game.

This would have been his second year on the varsity squad.

“Matthew is a reliable guy,” Statesmen Head Coach Josh Barmoy said. “He’s going to give you everything that he’s got every single day. He’s a very coachable young man.”

Newcomb played in left field last season and would have been an outfielder and designated hitter this season.

“He is a guy that as a ninth grader was cut from our team and kind of used that as motivation to get better, to play baseball and really stepped his work ethic up, came to a lot of the offseason conditionings and really just was like a sponge,” Barmoy said. “He just absorbed everything, was a ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘No, sir,’ guy, was able to get some playing time, see some success and really thrive out of just working hard and seeing that work ethic blossom.”

Newcomb, who also played a year on the Randolph-Henry junior varsity team, shared what it has been like not being on the diamond this spring.

“It’s been pretty rough,” he said. “I miss all my teammates and being out there practicing and playing with them every day.”

Asked what he thought his strength was that he felt benefited the team, Newcomb’s mind went to his interactions with his teammates, many of whom he grew up playing with.

“Being able to talk my teammates up when they get down on themselves for not making a good play or something, being able to talk them back up and keep their head in the game,” he said.

In terms of his baseball skills that he felt were strongest, he pointed to his abilities in the outfield.

“That’s probably where I am the best,” he said, affirming that speed is a key factor out there.

He said he does not have any plans to play baseball beyond high school, making this the conclusion of a baseball career that began when he was a young boy playing T-ball.

His main focus now is on becoming a lineman, working on power lines.

“I had planned on attending lineman school,” he said. “That was supposed to start in June, but I’m not going to be able to do that now because all this virus and stuff, but I’m still planning on doing that whenever I can get into it.”

He said that schooling will last 12 weeks.