What a bummer, right? Play baseball for a dozen years, and when that last hurrah arrives, that senior season in high school, it’s taken away.
Well, maybe for most, but not for Hunter Vaughan of Calvary Day School.
The Cougars’ captain, Vaughan was penciled in by his coach, Rich Landis, as a starting outfielder and part-time second baseman. Then, a few games into the season, the Cougars were playing an intrasquad scrimmage, Vaughan was at the plate, and an inside pitch caught him just below elbow. Hello broken arm.
Vaughan missed almost five weeks. He got to play the last handful of games, struggled until the end when his swing returned and he banged out a few hits.
Bitter? No way.
“Baseball is my passion; it’s not my identity,” said Vaughan, wise beyond his 18 years.
Landis was impressed.
He was at every practice, at every game, with his sling on,” Landis said. “That meant a whole lot to this team.”
Vaughan joins a new team in a few weeks. On June 22, he heads to Alaska’s Talkneeta Range for month of summer enrichment with a handful of soon-to-be-new friends who, like Vaughan, won the University of North Carolina’s all-expenses-paid Morehead-Cain Scholarship.
“I was nominated in September by Calvary, and that came as a surprise, because there were two kids who wanted to go to Carolina who were ranked higher than me,” Vaughan said. “In December, I made semifinals, the other guy who was nominated from Calvary, he didn’t. The biggest cut in numbers is from the semifinals to the finals, and I never thought I’d be chosen; I thought I had a terrible semifinal interview, then I found out on Jan. 18, and I broke out into tears.
“I came to think the Morehead was an elite, academic scholarship for kids with good grades and good test scores, but they’re looking for things that show you can make an impact on the community and the school.”
So Vaughan gets a trip to Alaska this summer and three more summer-enrichment trips with UNC. A pretty good trade-off for a broken bone in his arm?
That and a resume that includes being Lt. Governor of North Carolina’s Youth in Government Program − Vaughan might like to be involved in politics − plus stints as president of Calvary’s Calvary Crazies spirit club and its prayer breakfast club, working at Southwest Forsyth Little League for eight years and playing four years of varsity baseball.