All Hunter Bellomy ever wanted was to play college baseball.
The Spring Valley star worked hard, improved his game and saw offers come in. The first was from Cedarville University, then one from West Virginia State. Then came a scholarship proposal from Davis & Elkins, which offered nearly a full ride. Bellomy jumped at the chance to man a corner infield spot for the Senators. He signed his letter of intent in the Spring Valley High School auditorium and celebrated with family and fields. His childhood dream was sealed.
Bellomy, though, wasn't at peace. Continually, he felt the fit wasn't right.
"During this time, my only focus was on myself," Bellomy said. "Not once had I really thought with a Christlike mindset when it came to my future plans."
A devout Christian, Bellomy struggled. He said he was excited about playing college baseball, but at the same time was not fulfilled. Bellomy said he felt God tugging him in another direction, one without baseball. Bellomy said he felt the Lord leading him into ministry.
Bellomy prayed. Could he combine the sport he loved and serving God? Could his dreams and God's desires coincide?
"I spent many night up praying for direction, many nights arguing with God and pleading with him to make sure that my will would be done," Bellomy said.
After washing his truck, thinking and praying, Bellomy went to his church, Pea Ridge Baptist. He went to the sanctuary and cried out for God to remove the heartbreak and confusion from his life. With tears flowing, Bellomy told God he was tired of fighting Him and that His will be done, even if that meant giving up baseball.
The following Monday, the daily verse on Bellomy's phone was Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still."
Bellomy said he received peace. Since then, he decided, with the blessing of D&E coaches, to forego his baseball scholarship and attend Tri-State Bible College in South Point, Ohio, to pursue a degree in ministry.
Bellomy said some have called him "stupid" or "crazy." He said some have expressed disappointment in him. Bellomy said he understands that to many his decision sounds ridiculous. Hunter's family and many friends have shown him support. His Facebook page was flooded with affirming comments.
"It's hard hearing some say they're disappointed or I am making a mistake," Bellomy said. "But who am I to deny the Lord of the calling he has given me."
CONDOLENCES: Prayers of comfort for the family and friends of former Russell volleyball player Payton Waskey.
Waskey died from a heart condition last week.
Also for the friends and family of late South Charleston and Riverside basketball player Tre'Quan Gibson, who died Thursday.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Ashland wide receiver Blake Hester picked up an offer from the University of Virginia-Wise. ... Wheeling Central girls basketball star Eden Gainer received an offer from American University.
BOB LESTER GATHERING: Former South Point, Symmes Valley and Buffalo-Wayne coach Bob Lester is asking anyone who played for him in any sport to attend a gathering July 20 in the South Point Village Park.
Cheerleaders and family members also are invited. For more information, call (740) 377-4836.
ROUNDING UP: Rebecca Cremeans has been recommended to the Cabell County Board of Education to be the new volleyball coach at Cabell Midland High School. Cremeans has been coach at Chesapeake. ... Tony Shackelford was named new girls head soccer coach at Huntington High. ... The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted former Ashland High School star pitcher Logan Salow from their high-A affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga to Double-A Tulsa. ... Former Winfield High School pitcher Bear Bellomy earned his first professional save Saturday when he pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Pittsburgh Pirates' rookie league affiliate in Bristol, Virginia, against the Princeton (West Virginia) Rays. ... Former Boyd County baseball standout Casey Hamilton is the new head coach at the University of Pikeville.