“I think the sky’s the limit for him,” said South Alabama baseball coach Mark Calvi. “I’d hate to put expectations on him because he might exceed those.”
South Alabama has a rich baseball history. Players like Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, David Freese and more once called the USA campus home, but this season freshman Ethan Wilson made Jaguar baseball history.
“Those are some really good players, but I’m not much of an individual guy. I just try to do whatever I can to help the team win. That’s my purpose, that’s why I feel like God put me on the baseball field, to just be a great teammate and play the game the right way,” said Wilson.
Wilson was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, becoming the first freshman to ever win that award.
“Ethan’s been outstanding, very rarely in this league do you see a freshman put up number like he’s put up,” said Calvi.
And those numbers are eye popping.
Wilson finished the regular season as the Sun Belt leader in slugging percentage and total bases, and he’s tied for the lead in triples and runs scored.
“He’s probably one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had,” said Calvi. “It’s no shock he’s had success this year.”
For some athletes, having this much success at the start of their college career could perhaps be a bad thing. But Wilson is instead viewing this season as a launching point for what’s to come.
“You know you wonder about a guy that had early success. You have to stay out of their way and watch them and see how they handle it. You give them room, and he’s passed with flying colors,” said Calvi.
“I knew that I could come to college and play for a great program while getting better over the next three years,” said the left fielder. “That’s what I’m hoping for, just to keep getting better and to work hard. Success happens when you put in the work.”
With all of Wilson’s success, he’s never lost sight of what’s most important.
“Individually when guys have years like Ethan has that’s great, it’s icing on the cake when you have individual accolades. It’s great as long as the team concept isn’t lost and Ethan is probably the ultimate team player,” said Calvi.
And when his South Alabama career eventually comes to an end, he wants to leave a legacy that goes far beyond the diamond.
“In the long run nobody will remember how you played in one game. They’ll remember how you were as a person, how you treated the guys. So that’s really what I want to be remembered as, just a fun guy that always has a good time no matter the circumstances,” said Wilson.