Marshall baseball recruit leads Class AA all-state team
FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- For a minute, Austin Norman thought about giving up.
The Fairmont Senior quarterback suffered a football injury, a broken fibula and dislocated ankle that was severe enough to turn his foot almost entirely backward. The Polar Bears' football season was essentially over without him, and Norman thought maybe his entire athletic career might also be finished.
"After that injury I talked about just going to college and going to school and being done with everything," he said. "But I had a goal. That was to play baseball and play collegiately."
A metal plate, a handful of screws and countless hours of rehab later and he was back on the baseball field this spring where he belted 12 home runs, drove in 48 runs and hit .418 to go along with a 1.35 ERA and 89 strikeouts.
Norman, who has verbally committed to Marshall University, was named as captain of the Class AA all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
"I put in a lot of hard work in the offseason," Norman said.
"A lot of time in the weight room. A lot of time in the cage. A lot of time throwing. And it paid off."
Other all-state first team players were Wayne sophomore outfielder Cody Stiltner (.453 average, 27 stolen bases) and Poca junior utility selection Noah Frampton (.404, five home runs).
All-state second team selections included Poca senior outfielder Jake Payne along with three Chapmanville players -- junior pitcher Trey Dalton, senior infielder William Copley and junior utility pick Tristan Thompson. Copley was chosen as the second team captain.
Special mention honors went to Mikey Perry and Kodie Brown of Wayne, Caleb Spencer from Mingo Central and Brent Bigley of Chapmanville.
The honorable mention picks included Matt Chandler from Poca, Todd Slone and Kenny Allen of Mingo Central and Nick Brumfield of Chapmanville.