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Athlete of the Week: Michael Gettys

POSTED: April 17, 2012 12:51 a.m.

Michael Gettys is only a sophomore on the Gainesville High baseball team, but already he has played a significant role in two successful seasons for the Red Elephants.

As a freshman, he helped his team win 24 games while learning to play at a high level in high school.

As a sophomore, it’s all become second nature as he has compiled a 6-0 record on the mound while also racking up big hit after big hit at the plate.

Last Monday, Gettys hit a grand slam at the plate and pitched four innings, allowing three hits and striking out six for the win in a 24-5 rout of subregion rival Johnson.

For his efforts, Gettys has been named The Times Athlete of the Week.

In 2012, Gettys has been a part of a pitching staff that allows just 2.1 runs per contest.

To understand Gettys’ success, one need look no further than his obsession with the game. It’s his love for it, he said, that has helped him to play so many games in high school, before high school and on travel teams during the offseason, helping him to gain a superior understanding of the sport.

“I’ve played so many games, I guess I’m just used to it now,” he said. “I just love it. When you’re doing great, you love it. It’s frustrating

sometimes when you aren’t doing your best. I like to compete, and our team has done really well at that so far. And there’s no greater feeling than when you’re playing well.”

Lucky for him, that’s a pretty common occurrence. The sophomore, who has already committed to play at the University of Georgia, endured just a handful of losses as a team in 2011. The Red Elephants have yet to lose in 2012 and could wrap up a perfect regular season with wins against Lumpkin County (Friday) and Monroe Area (April 23).

Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp said his young dual-threat has developed such a well-rounded game through his endless work in and out of season.

“He works so hard,” Kemp said. “He works his tail off in the offseason. He lives in the batting cages. He gets the job done on the mound, too.”

And while Kemp said it’s natural to want to push an athlete further, it’s hard to find many flaws in a player that has been so successful in such a short time with the program.

“You always want more,” Kemp said, “but he’s done great for us already. He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing, and he’ll be fine. I’m real proud of him. I’m proud of all these guys.”

And despite his individual success this season and the prospects awaiting him in the future, that’s all Gettys really wants to talk about right now.

“It’s exciting to have that in my future,” he said in reference to the potential of playing for the Bulldogs. “But right now, it’s all about this season. I want to keep winning. I want a state championship.”

If he and the Red Elephants continue to play at the level they’ve played at thus far, that could be a possibility. And Gettys said that he feels like neither he nor his team has reached their full potential.

“A lot of people, I think, look at us as more of a pitching team,” he said. “But we can really hit. We’ve started to show that more recently, and we have nowhere to go but up from here. I think we can get a lot better.”


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