With a fastball nearing 88 mph and a batting average over .400 the past two seasons, South Iredell's Colby Dishmond hopes to continue the trend this season.
Dishmond, a junior, will share duties at pitcher, first base, third base and catcher. Primarily, however, Dishmond will be the Vikings' No. 1 pitcher.
"Colby is our ace in the hole," said South Iredell coach Trey Ramsey. "He will play some at a couple of other positions, but pitching will be his main duty."
Last season, Dishmond, a two-time all-conference player, had a tear in his throwing arm, forcing the sophomore to miss games.
The doctor said Dishmond had a labral tear, an injury to the shoulder joint, Ramsey said. Two months later, Colby went back to the doctor and was cleared to pitch.
"At that time, we had another pitcher go down with an injury, and Colby got the nod to start in the first-round playoff game," said Ramsey. "He pitched eight innings and gave up just one run, which I thought was an incredible feat considering the injury he had."
Dishmond lives in the Troutman area, off Troutman Farm Road, and as far back as he can remember baseball was something he wanted to play.
"I stated playing baseball when I was around 5 years old," said Dishmond. "It's kind of funny because a couple of the guys on our team last year and this year, we all played T-ball on a team out of Mooresville called the Upper Deck Rockets. That's where it all started for me."
Along the way, Dishmond has had two individuals teach him the game.
"My dad definitely got me started in baseball," said Dishmond. "He coached some of the teams I was on, and then my brother-in-law, Chris Myers, helped me. Chris is actually the assistant varsity coach, and I've been working with him since I started playing baseball as well."
Dishmond said his goal is to play college baseball, and his favorite teams are the Clemson Tigers and the Atlanta Braves.
Ramsey said Dishmond is a Division I prospect and calls him a student of the game.
"He's a very good player and very talented hitting-wise," said Ramsey. "I want to say he's a natural, but ... I think of a natural as someone who doesn't work hard and that's not Colby. Colby has worked very hard on his game and his swing."
He added that Dishmond analyzes the game to learn from it.
"He's confident in his abilities, but there are times when me and him sit down and look at everything he's doing," said Ramsey. "We might even argue it out until we find out what we need to change or tweak to make him that much better."