On Saturday, May 15, Washington High School senior Zane Joseph made known his future plans to continue his athletic and academic career in college.
Joseph signed his national letter of intent to attend Ohio University-Chillicothe, where he will be a member of the OUC men’s baseball team.
Due to covid-19, a small ceremony and the signing of his commitment was held at the Fayette County fairgrounds, Mahan Building. A special thank you to Faith Cottrell-Marine for helping with the use of the facility and set up.
Joining Joseph for the occasion were his family, dad Brett, mom Katy, and sisters Kamryn and Madison. Also in attendance were Washington Blue Lions coaches Mark Schwartz and Brandon Runk, Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose and OUC head baseball coach Bret Mavis.
Joseph received several offers to play baseball at other schools, but formed a great relationship with Coach Mavis over the last few months. Additionally, Joseph really liked the campus, the high ratings the school has for academics, and its proximity to home.
Joseph said that he feels very blessed and thankful for the opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves for a few more years.
“I worked hard to get better each and every year, and was really looking forward to playing in my final year in high school. Unfortunately for me, the coaches, and my fellow senior teammates, we never got the chance. Still, we have a lot of great memories from the past several years that I will never forget.”
Joseph is planning on majoring in education at OUC, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Middle Childhood Education. Joseph said, “In addition to teaching, if I’m fortunate enough to stay close to the sport that I love, I’d like to coach baseball at the school.”
Joseph started playing baseball at the age of three and a half.
“My family and I moved to Morgantown, West Virginia when I was about one, and my dad started throwing with me almost every day from that age,” Joseph said. “When tryouts for the five and six-year-olds came up that year, I was three and a half and as tall as that group of kids. My dad took me to the tryout and I just ran out and started playing with the other kids. I had already been throwing every day for two years, and I loved baseball. They liked what they saw and made an exception for my age. That’s where it all started. I have had the pleasure of playing with some incredible guys, and in some really big games over the past 15 years. Thank you to all of my past and current coaches and teammates for the great times that we have shared.”
This summer Joseph will play baseball for the Chillicothe 757 travel team before he joins his new team at OUC.
“We just found out that we are going to have a baseball season this year. It will be a little shorter, and will most likely have a few restrictions, but I am excited to get back out on the field.
“I have a lot of memories that I take with me, and it’s hard to pick one as a favorite. It probably goes back to my days in little league,” Joseph said. “My high school varsity coach, Mark Schwartz, was my coach when I played in little league. My principal, Tracy Rose, was our District tournament coach. My teammates and I won three straight league championships, as well as three straight District titles. I threw a couple of no-hitters during the playoffs, and my teammates just kept crushing the ball and scoring runs. It was a great time playing with those guys.
“I would like a give a special thank you to Coach Schwartz and Coach Runk,” Joseph said. “What I like about them is, not only did they push me to be the best player I can be, but we all had great relationships off the field. I’d also like to thank my former coach and principal, Mr. Rose, for always believing in me and helping me become a better player and person throughout the years. He is a great mentor and friend.
“I would also like to thank all my teammates for the countless memories we’ve made and especially to Bailey Roberts for always keeping me up and being the best teammate I could ask for. I would also like to thank Alec Ackley for being my long time throwing partner and friend. Most importantly, I would like to thank my family. My grandparents are some of my biggest fans and supporters and went to every game possible. Thank you to my dad for always throwing with me in the back yard and beating me in the accuracy games we would play. (I can beat you now though!) Lastly, I want to thank my mom. I can’t thank her enough for what she does! She always got me to my practices and games on time and usually went through a drive-thru for food afterwards.
“Although I will miss my high school coaches, teammates, friends, and teachers, I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life,” Joseph said. “Our senior year didn’t turn out like most of us thought it would, but we’ll always be special for that. Best of luck to everyone in the class of 2020!”