The Buchholz Baseball team has seen a lot of success this year. With a 16-5-1 record, the Bobcats find themselves as the No. 2 seed entering the District tournament. Head Coach Ron Brooks, in his 11th year with Buchholz, is very proud of his team’s success thus far, especially amid a COVID-ridden school year.
Freshman Noah Hayse has been a huge factor in the Bobcats’ success this season. In just his first year with the program, Hayse has had a tremendous impact on the Buchholz team. Hayse is a University of Central Florida baseball commit, with plans to begin his career at UCF in 2024.
An Early Start
Hayse began playing baseball at just four years old. He credits his father for being the biggest influence on his baseball career, stating “[my father] was the one that always took me to the fields and I’ve played catch with since I was four years old.”
Hayse has always had a strong passion for baseball, and he started catching when he was only eight years old.
Hayse played with the Gatorball Baseball Academy, where he also attributes a lot of his success to Stephen Barton, a Florida Gator Baseball alumni.
“[Being committed as a freshman] has probably taken off pressure rather than created more. Prior to committing I was playing to earn college attention, and now, I can just go out and play,” said Hayse.
The coaching staff at UCF is what made the decision easy for Hayse. He believes that coaches Greg Lovelady and Ted Tom will be great teachers and people that could really help develop him as a player and a person.
Going into his freshman year of high school, Hayse was unsure of how the Covid-19 pandemic would affect the baseball season.
Luckily, the team did not have to cancel any games. “I went into quarantine in the fall when a classmate got sick, but since then I have moved to online school. There are certain precautions, but we have gotten lucky in terms of games and practices,” said Hayse.
Coach Ron Brooks, the coach for the Buchholz High School baseball team and World History teacher, has been coaching baseball for 17 years and 11 years of those years have been at Buchholz.
“I have known Noah for about a year when he came to Buchholz,” said Coach Brooks, “His maturity as a freshman is very unique. His ability to handle the ups and downs of a high school team is very impressive. Especially for a catcher, a position that has so many eyes on it and has action on every pitch, he has a lot of maturity and a very advanced skill set.”
With the pandemic, Coach Brooks has had to find a way to be flexible at all times and has learned not to take anything for granted.
“Nothing is given so it is important to view every game as important,” said Coach Brooks.
Heading into the playoffs, Coach Brooks hoped that the team could play each game like it is a regular game without losing focus. He knows that it is important to not play differently but to throw strikes and make routine plays.
The Buchholz baseball team won their first playoff game against Lincoln High School with a final score of 4-2. The team’s season ended against Chiles High School on April 30.