Connor McDonald: Frankfort, Wheelhouse, Post 91 helped hone baseball skills

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Connor McDonald, surrounded by parents Amy and Rick, Frankfort baseball coach Matt Miller, and Wheelhouse co-owner Shane Corwell, signed recently to play baseball at Bethany College.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

SHORT GAP - Recently, Frankfort senior Connor McDonald, surrounded by his parents Rick and Amy, Frankfort baseball coach Matt Miller, and Shane Corwell, co-owner of the Wheelhouse Academy, signed to continue his academic and baseball career at Bethany College.

“He’s a good teammate and will do what’s needed to help Bethany win games,” Coach Miller said. “He’s also a good student that will do well in the classroom.

“Connor is a good hitter that attacks the ball in the strike zone, and he can do a solid job behind the plate or play a corner outfield position. Connor has put a lot of time in to improve his game,” Miller explained.

According to Miller, “He’s played a lot of baseball the last two summers between the Legion program and the Arsenal program through the Wheelhouse. He spends a lot of time in the facility and wants to constantly improve.  He’s a grinder.”

McDonald is the first to admit that his game has improved through his play in Frankfort’s baseball program, his participation in the Romney Post 91 Legion program, and through extensive time spent training at Fort Ashby’s Wheelhouse Academy, along with participation in the Wheelhouse Arsenal travel organization.

“Playing for Frankfort High School, I’ve gained a lot of experience, playing in games and such, and just learning the game a lot more.  The coaching staff at Frankfort, I like them a lot, it’s like a big family at Frankfort High School,” McDonald stated. “Also, we always have a pretty good team, and that helps a lot when it comes to getting to the state championships and things like that.

“I would say with the Wheelhouse, the coaching staff they have there, they have improved on my ability to hit the ball, be a catcher, and just everything in general with baseball. I’ve improved so much by going to the Wheelhouse,” McDonald explained.

While McDonald is a grinder, as Matt Miller described him, he also has taken the time to smell the roses and enjoy his teams’ many accomplishments. McDonald reflects back on his favorite baseball memories.

“My favorite memory was my sophomore year at Frankfort when we advanced all the way to the state championship game. Well, it’s both a good memory and a bad memory because we ended up losing in the title game. But, it was a really good experience, I enjoyed my time down there. When we won against Scott in the semi-finals, we were all so happy that we won, that was actually probably my favorite memory,” McDonald explained.

“Also, I’ve played the last few summers on the Romney Post 91 Legion Team. In 2019, our team won the Junior League championship and I was the starting catcher in that tournament.  Coach Crawford has also been a great coach and has helped me better my game with his coaching,” McDonald stated.

Just as Frankfort’s baseball program, participation with Post 91’s Legion team, and involvement with the Wheelhouse Academy has prepared McDonald to play collegiate baseball, so to that Frankfort High School prepared him for the rigors of college academia.

McDonald is sold on Bethany College, both in terms of the college itself, and also the baseball program.

According to McDonald, “The school is a smaller campus and I think that was my main reason for choosing it. I didn’t want to go to a big campus, because it’s easier to make friends at a smaller school. I am looking to study law at Bethany, and then go on to law school and eventually become a JAG attorney.

“In terms of the baseball program, I really like the coach. When we were invited to and attended a camp there, he came up and talked to us and I really liked his personality, and I thought, this would be a good option,” McDonald stated.  “Then when we went to the campus, they showed us the field, and the field was real nice. They have a really good training facility to lift in, and then they also have a big indoor gym where you can hit baseballs and such.”

As McDonald prepares for his final baseball season at Frankfort, for graduation and then his transition to Bethany College and baseball at the next level, he’s quick to give credit to those that have supported him the most.

According to McDonald, “I would 150 percent say my dad and mom have been my biggest supporters. My dad he pushes me to go to practice and such, and he’s been the one that keeps me playing and takes me to camps and stuff. Then my mom, she’s always there at every single game, and she’s also been very supportive, and I just love them so much for supporting me that much.”