March was not when Pope baseball player Blake Redman had planned on finishing his high school career.
At the time, Redman had thought only a couple of days of school would get canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But what was initially thought of as a minor mishap in the season became the final time Redman and his teammates would step onto the field.
“We were just in the batting cages and were hyped for the game,” Redman said. “Then, coach (Chris) Turco comes in and says, ‘This is probably our last game of the season,’ and that kind of just struck us.”
Redman said some of his teammates remained optimistic and hopeful that the season would resume after the initial two-week postponement. However, seeing the cancellation of the College World Series as well as the beginning of the major league regular season stole hope that Pope would play another game.
“If MLB and colleges aren’t playing, then we’re not going to play,” Redman said.
While the season came to an abrupt end, Redman was proud of the way his teammates were beginning to mesh with one another. Pope had won six of its final eight games of the season and was beginning to look like the team that had made it to the state championship series each of the past four years.
During his first year as a member of the varsity squad, Redman played second base and was a key player on the Greyhounds’ 2018 Class AAAAAA state championship team. He was quick to attribute winning the state championship as the “craziest moment of his life.”
“You won’t (understand) how good it feels to win a state championship until you win it,” Redman said.
Pope’s 16-6 victory against Roswell was Redman’s most memorable game from the 2020 season, with the Greyhounds hitting a season-high five home runs.
“That’s kind of when we started clicking,” Redman said.
Redman will continue his baseball career at Ohio State University. The Buckeye State is where his family is from, and it has served as his second home for the majority of his life.
Redman decided to study business and finance because of how much he enjoys math. He is still keeping his options open for what he plans to do with those degrees after college.
“I want to do something in math for it,” Redman said. “I’m also good at marketing, so maybe I could start my own business.”