Will Cantrell had the face one of the toughest moments of any athlete’s career. He had to hang up the spikes for the final time, though it was a decision the one-time Pioneer made on his own.
Cantrell has decided to end his baseball career at Bryan College, closing a three-year journey on the diamond in Dayton. The slugger, who has been hitting bombs since he was a youngster in Warren County, realized his time with the game he loved was over.
“I’ve decided just to go back to Bryan and not play ball. I’m at peace with my decision and everything,” said Cantrell, who had limited at-bats in the spring for the Lions. “I’m okay with being done and very happy with how my baseball career went from high school to travel ball and my first couple years in college. I have no regrets with my decision and am very happy to finish out school and my degree. That’s the most important thing.”
Listen to Will Cantrell and Brooks Helton detail their 2022 seasons on the WCSA website.
Cantrell came out of high school as a certified masher – a righty with power to all parts of the park. For Warren County, Cantrell hit .444 in district play as a senior and was an all-district selection as the team won a regular season title. He went to Bryan hoping his sweet swing would translate, but when Bryan wanted to change him into a power hitter, it started a spiral that ended with Cantrell stepping away from the game.
“This year was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had with baseball and I just didn’t agree with what the coaches were telling me as far as hitting philosophy, which was pretty much they only wanted me to hit homeruns and nothing else,” said Cantrell. “That turned into me putting too much pressure on myself from where they told me that and it turned to where I wasn’t myself as a player. I just felt like it was in my best interest be done with it and take more time to be around my family.”
While it wasn’t the walk-off Cantrell would’ve wanted for his college career, he still had some shining moments with Bryan College and with BluePrint Baseball as a travel ball player.
“My favorite moment from college was the homerun I hit in our fall World Series - I think that’s probably in the top three moments I had in my baseball career. I also will say that the friendships I made with my teammates – who I consider some of my closest friends – was a highlight,” said Cantrell, who also included winning the ProspectWire World Series with Blueprint and going to the Tournament of Champions at USF as top moments of his career.
It may not be too long before Cantrell is back in the game in some capacity. He’s made some inroads about becoming a baseball writer/commentator, while there’s always a chance he uses all his knowledge of the game to teach youngsters in the future. He already has some good advice for kids who are trying to make the transition to college from high school.
“The speed of the game from high school to college is different. That’s what made playing with Blueprint so amazing - I was facing top level competition from when I was 15-18. My first two years of college were great because I was used to it and I was myself as far as a player,” said Cantrell.
This is the third in our series of Security Federal College Spotlights coming this summer. If there is an athlete you’d like to see featured, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bracton Womack, golf at TTU: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/security-federal-college-spotlight-bracton-womack
Emily Mikkola, softball at TWU: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/security-federal-college-spotlight-emily-mikkola