TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Not every high school athlete gets to play for the college they have always cheered for.
Most high school athletes don’t get to play in college at all.
Seaman High School pitcher Kevin Mannell gets to play for his favorite school, Kansas State, next year.
“When Buck Taylor first called me, everything he said sounded like the dream,” Mannell said.
Mannell transferred from Jefferson West High School in Jefferson County. It’s his first year with the Vikings, and it’s Trent Oliva’s first year as head coach.
“This is my first time really seeing him on a consistent basis since the beginning of March,” Oliva said. “But, just talking from his summer coaches and other coaches that have worked with him, just knowing that he’s put in a lot of time and effort. He’s progressing on a good level, and I think he has good things for him in the future.”
It’s that time, effort and progress that led Mannell to pitch his first no-hitter on April 9. He needed only 58 pitches to strikeout 12 and complete the shutout.
“His pitch count was down,” Oliva said. “He was in the strike zone, so there was really no plan except to let him keep going.”
K-State fans can look forward to Mannell’s slick curveball and almost 90 mph fastball.
“I have a good work ethic,” Mannell said. “I just like to put in the time, and I love the game of baseball. I’ll be ready for next year.”