June 11, 2008 · Updated 5:21 PM
He stood at the edge of Klahowyas baseball field unshaven, muddy and spitting sunflower seeds.
Senior third baseman/pitcher Shawn Squires made no excuses about who he is.
Im a total hick, he said. When Im not (at school) I like elk hunting and fishing. Thats all there is out here.
Squires loves to share his outdoor stories. One of his favorites was dragging in his fishing pole after catching a salmon. There was just one problem.
I missed the first three periods of school, he said. The football coach wasnt too happy.
That doesnt mean Squires takes academics and athletics lightly, though. He maintains a 3.0 grade-point average and is counted on to guide the Eagles baseball team this season.
Hes got a good attitude and wants to be here, Klahowya baseball coach Bob Reynolds said. He sets a good example, is personable and hes coachable.
That personality showed when Squires gave an assessment of Reynolds, whos guided Klahowya from one win in 2001 his first season to the state playoffs last season.
Hes an ex-military cop or something and he likes to treat us like that, Squires said. But hes a cool guy.
On the mound, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound right-hander shows no fear despite having a fastball that doesnt top 80 mph even on his best day.
Heat, heat, heat and a splitter once in a while, said Squires, referring to his repertoire.
But its easy to see where Squires heart is set.
I just like to hit, he said. I dont care where I play as long as I get to hit.
And he has big expectations at the plate this season.
I want to lead our league in average and hit over .600, he said. Thats my goal.
Squires said he isnt sure how the team will fare this season.
Were shaky, he said. Offensively, were up there with anyone. But weve got some guys gone on vacation.
Squires said offense is important at Klahowya despite what appears to be a difficult symmetry for home-run hitters.
This is a hitters park to me because the infield is terrible, said Squires, adding that hes witnessed several infield hits there during his career. It doesnt really play like anything.
But the team-leader likes the ground divets. After all, the rough outdoors feel like home.