Western Hills junior baseball standout Connor Purvis has been selected as the Traditional Bank Athlete of the Week.
A power hitter who usually hits in the heart of the lineup in the three, four or five spot, Purvis slugged a two-out, two-run home run against Tates Creek in the fourth inning to put the Wolverines ahead 2-1 in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament on Sunday.
Despite his team's eventually falling to the Commodores 3-2, Purvis’ shot and a key throw from his catcher position to pick off a baserunner at second in the sixth inning kept Western Hills in the game until the final out.
While it was a disheartening way to end the season, Purvis is proud of the team’s accomplishments and said he has attained most of the goals he set for himself this season — including batting over .300.
“I really enjoy being part of team in a sport you have to work at,” he told The State Journal. “Nothing is given to you.”
The 17-year-old son of Hope and David Purvis, he has been honing his game for years.
As a sixth grader at Bondurant Middle School, Purvis was named the overall champion in his age group in a hitting, running and throwing skills competition, which included participants from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
Two years later, while still in middle school, he created his favorite baseball memory — hitting a home run in his first at-bat on eighth grade night against rival Elkhorn Middle.
Even though he’s a slugger on offense, Purvis loves the role he plays on defense.
State Journal: What do you like about playing catcher?
Purvis: Commanding the pitching staff. Being in every play and being the voice on the field.
SJ: How does it feel to throw out a baserunner?
Purvis: Good. It’s the feeling that you’ve done your job and gotten your team out of a tough spot.
SJ: Who has had the biggest influence on your athletic career?
Purvis: My father. He is always willing to spend time and money to get me better and to the next level.
SJ: What are your goals for next year?
Purvis: To lead the team in all hitting categories and to not commit any errors defensively.
SJ: Is baseball something you plan to pursue at the college level?
Purvis: Yes, but right now I am working on school, preparing for the ACT and getting scholarships.