K.J. Hockaday, a junior at John Carroll, has orally committed to play college baseball at the University of Maryland. But, Hockaday's new coach, Joe Stetka, said his shortstop-third baseman may never make it to Maryland.
"He seems very excited about committing to Maryland," Stetka said. "But he's a tremendous athlete. Down the road, we'll see if he goes to Maryland, because I think he has a strong shot of getting drafted at the end of his senior season."
But for now, the prospect of John Carroll having a player of a caliber that interests Maryland is good for John Carroll.
"The MIAA [Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association) A Conference is a tough, tough league," said Stetka, who was an assistant coach at C. Milton Wright last season. "Last year John Carroll was below .500. We have a great facility and I'm trying to get kids to come here to play. To do that, we have to build respect for our program. Having a player like K.J. committed to Maryland certainly helps that. That kid just wants to get better every day."
Stetka said his goal for the program is to make the playoffs this season, something it hasn't done in more than a decade.
"I'm not tiptoeing in to this," Stetka said. "I'm jumping in. Having K.J., who is a tremendous high school shortstop and very outgoing, says good things about John Carroll. Having him will help me to get kids to believe in the program."
- Sandra McKee