Times Sports Editor
Recent Northview High School graduate Joey Thomas was a very integral part of the Knights' baseball program during his career. A starting second baseman, Thomas compiled better then 50 hits over his final two seasons while playing in 55 games over that span.
Starting next season however, Thomas' future lies with beakers rather than baseball bats.
Thomas will attend Butler University, majoring in Chemistry after compiling a 4.0 GPA at Northview and being named co-Valedictorian of his graduating class.
"Joey's classroom work was exactly the same as in the (baseball) field. He took great pride in how he was prepared academically and athletically," Northview baseball coach Scott McDonald said.
When asked what some of Thomas greatest traits were as a player, McDonald described him as a "great leader, hardworking, selfless, (with a) great baseball mind and driven."
All of those characteristics were recognized as Thomas recently was recognized as a member of the Academic All-State Baseball Team. He was one of just 69 athletes to earn that distinction. Thomas was also the only player in Vigo, Clay or Putnam County to be named to the Academic All-State Team.
Thomas is the first Northview Knight to receive the distinction since 2001 when Ted Robbins and Austin Burns were both Academic All-State.
His senior season, Thomas tied for the team lead with 10 doubles, added a home run and hit .264 for the Knights with 23 hits in 87 at-bats. He added 15 RBI and scored 22 times. In his junior season, Thomas raked opponents for a .403 batting average with seven doubles and 14 RBI and 31 hits in 77 at-bats for the Knights.
"Joey was a tremendous leader, who also provided us clutch hitting, excellent defense, and was a great student of the game," McDonald said. "It was like having another coach on the field."