Double threat: Owl a force in baseball, football

Zach Carpenter began playing baseball and football at an early age, and continued both sports through his years at Seymour High School.

Last spring, Carpenter did some pitching and played in the outfield on the diamond.

This season, the senior said that he will throw in the rotation while also spending some time at first base.

Carpenter said his fastball is his No. 1 pitch.

“My off-speed stuff has gotten better over the years but it’s not as good as it can be,” Carpenter said. “Coach Elvis (Hernandez) is really helping me out with everything. Since I’m a lefty he says I don’t really need any breaking-ball stuff. I’ve already got a tail on it.

“Even if it’s a right-handed batter I like to keep them off the plate just a little bit. Occasionally, I’ll throw a change-up.”

In addition to working on his pitching, Carpenter said he is also going to work on his hitting during the pre-season workouts in the indoor facility next to the diamond.

When the Owls are outside, Carpenter said he will take a lot of groundballs at first base.

“We have certain plays where we see who covers the bag, who goes for the bunt and everything,” Carpenter said. “Playing outfield is pretty fun. I like playing center because I’ve played that my whole life.”

Carpenter said he feels like the Owls can top last year’s win total.

“I think it’s going to take a lot of team building and stuff, and everybody buying in and the seniors taking charge and it’s not a coaches-led practice, it’s a players-led practice,” he said.

Carpenter began his football career in elementary school.

“I started over at Cortland Elementary, played with some St. Ambrose kids,” he said.

He moved into the varsity starting lineup midway through his freshman year and became a regular.

“They decided to bring me up to varsity my freshman year and I started at outside linebacker week five,” Carpenter said, and mentioned as a sophomore and junior he was a two-way starter at outside linebacker and running back.

Last fall he concentrated on running the ball, where he gained 814 yards on 154 carries (5.3 average) and scored eight touchdowns.

“Usually if one hole wasn’t there they just told me to make another hole,” Carpenter said. “I was more of an inside power guy. Hitting people feels real good. Sometimes there were plays that we ran outside, or I’d go out on a passing route.”

Carpenter also had 11 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He scored five two-point conversions for 70 points last fall.

“I did a lot of pass-blocking and protected (Alan) Perry and helped out in the alignment,” Carpenter said. “We went man across the line and I just picked up anybody who come off the edge or any (defensive) line that tried to come in.”

He said he is proud to have helped the Owls move back toward the top of the Hoosier Hills Conference.

“All the seniors bought in this year,” Carpenter said. “We led all the younger guys, and hopefully we led them good enough that they can keep on some tradition and everything this year.”

Carpenter led the Owls onto the field at the home games carrying a United States Flag.

“Being a four-year starter, being there as a senior, I tried to help guys out as much as I could, especially in my position, making that position better,” Carpenter said. “I tried to get the other people up. Even if they’re not having a good day, and they’re not trying to finish out the day strong, I got onto them.”

He said his most memorable football wins came against Brownstown Central and New Albany last fall, and his most memorable baseball victory came against Columbus North last spring.

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Name: Zach Carpenter

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Amy and Gilbert Carpenter

Sibling: Haley

Sports: baseball 4 years, football 4 years

Athletic awards: football – coaches award, toughness award (twice).

Plans after high school: attend Ivy Tech

Favorite food: steak

Favorite TV show: American Dad

Favorite musician: Brantley Gilbert

Favorite movie: American Sniper

Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers

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