Wood Brings on Familiar Face to Rapids’ Coaching Staff
Watertown, NY - As the 2019 PGCBL season approaches, Watertown Rapids’ Field Manager Mike Wood has hired his second and final assistant coach to his staff. Hunter Thomas, a former Jefferson Community College (JCC) shortstop will coach alongside Wood and pitching coach Sean Stacey this summer.
Thomas, a native of Elmira, NY will bring a variety of experiences to the Rapids this summer, including playing in the PGCBL for the Adirondack TrailBlazers. As a two-year member of the JCC Cannoneers, Thomas earned All-Region and Conference twice, team MVP as a sophomore, and NJCAA DIII Player of the Week in March of 2016. During his sophomore year, Thomas captained the Cannoneers to the NJCAA Region III Final Four.
After a successful two years at JCC, Thomas then played at NCAA Division II Davis & Elkins College where he led the conference in fielding percentage at shortstop. Thomas and Wood were teammates for one season at JCC and one season at Davis & Elkins, learning a lot about each other along the way. Additionaly, Rapids' general manager Brandon Noble was a teammate of Thomas and Wood at JCC in 2014-2015.
Wood spoke very highly about Thomas’ ability and why he’s a good fit for his Rapids’ staff, “Hunter brings valuable experience to the table playing four years collegiately, as well as top level summer experience with two years in the PGCBL. He’s done very well for himself coaching at West Virginia Wesleyan and has shown the ability to coach and willingness to improve his sharp baseball mind. Playing two years with Hunter, I knew right away his approach to the game would translate well into coaching. I couldn’t ask for a better guy to join our staff.”
Thomas is currently a graduate assistant coach at NCAA Division II West Virginia Wesleyan College with a focus on the team’s infield. While coaching, Thomas is also working toward his Master of Business Administration. “I’m looking forward to not only strengthening the skills of the student-athletes on the field, but off the field as well by building character and respect” Thomas said.
With the addition of Thomas to the staff, Wood looks to complete the roster for the summer in the coming weeks and prepare the the team to arrive at the end of May. The coaching staff is excited to get to work and provide a top-notch experience for the players and fans. Thomas added, “I expect to bring energy and a winning mentality to the table, while having fun this summer. I have roots in Watertown and this city is a great place to be, interacting with the local fans and community. Giving back to the community through our team will go along way.”
The Rapids’ home opener will be on Saturday June 1st versus the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs at 7:15pm with post-game fireworks. Businesses, youth sports teams, and local groups of all kinds can take advantage of the new group areas this summer by emailing Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 315-836-1545.
Mike Wood (left) & Hunter Thomas (right)