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Athlete of the Week
West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2021 11 months ago

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT: Dale Thomas

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Dale Thomas played his high school career at Bishop Moore Catholic. This is his second season playing for the Winter Garden Squeeze.
by: Michael Eng Editor and Publisher

By Nate Marrero
Contributing Writer

In his second year playing for the Winter Garden Squeeze, Dale Thomas is batting .228 with two home runs and 17 RBIs. Thomas played his high school career at Bishop Moore Catholic and graduated in 2019. This is his second season playing for the Squeeze, and he is heading into his third season at Coastal Carolina University. 

How did you get into playing baseball?
Since T-ball, my dad always helped me out there throwing some sort of ball — whether it was a football or baseball. Gradually as I got older, I just fell in love with baseball, and then the rest is history.

What has been your favorite memory from playing baseball?
My favorite memory would be probably meeting all the different types of friends that I’ve met throughout the course of my career. Baseball brings you together, you become a family (with) one another, and you know all the memories that I’ve created with the bunch of friends that I have is because of baseball.

Who has had the biggest impact on you with baseball?
Definitely my dad. He’s always been coaching since I was little, always just teaching me how to throw, how to field ground balls, how to catch pop flies and stuff like that. And I can’t forget my mom, too. My mom — she’s a big part in that, too, from taking me there to doing things for the team, cooking for them, letting them stay here. 

What was it about Coastal Carolina that appealed to you?
It’s a beautiful place to go play. I talked to the coaching staff and fell in love with them. They were everything that we were looking for. Not to mention, I live in DeLand, Florida, which is kind of the country, and if you go 20 minutes either way, you’re going to a beach, so that’s how it pretty much is up there at Coastal. Twenty minutes one way, it’s the woods, so 20 minutes the other way, it’s the beach. I just fell in love with that.

Tell us about your first full season at Coastal Carolina?
It was a wonderful experience. It was kind of hard my freshman year, because everything was just so weird with all the tragic things that happened, so I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in in my sophomore year, because everything was just so messed up still. But (we) got through it together as a team, and I was just fortunate to play.

What’s your favorite part about playing summer ball?
It’s keeping your reps up, meeting new people, stuff like that. You can play without having to be stressed out over what stats you have. … You can go and relax and play the game that you love to play without all that extra stuff on you.

What are some of the areas in your game you’re hoping to improve the most this summer?
Definitely my hitting, my swing. I got into this habit I’m trying to break off, like rushing and not staying back on the ball. I just want to plunge down on my front foot. So I want to stay back on my back side and fix that. 

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