Cory Smith is a Union High Spartan, and he has a passion for the game of baseball. Cory’s favorite place on the field is behind the plate, in the catchers seat, controlling the game.
To be good at the game, a player must be dedicated, and have a willingness to do what it takes to play the game of baseball, and Cory is that player. He was named All County in baseball this year.
He’s also good in class, too, and is a member of the Spartan Beta Club.
Cory not only plays ball at school, but he’s also a legion ballplayer and plays with a travel team.
“I have played baseball for 12 years now. I play in Legion Ball, which is teams that are made of top players in each district. I was on a travel ball team last year called Harrnet County Hot Shots, and we made it to the 4th round in the state tournament.
The Spartan says he likes baseball because of the excitement he feels when playing the game, and he works really hard in practice to be the best he can be.
“I like playing baseball so much because to me playing baseball is more of an adrenaline rush. I feel there needs to be dedication to the sport in order to be good at it, and I have a willingness to do what I need to, to be as good as I know that I can,” said Smith.
In reminiscing about last season, Cory said his most memorable game would be when the Spartan’s faced the Dark Horses.
He said the game went nine innings and the final score was 3-2, with Union coming out ahead.
“My role model in baseball would be Bryce Harper, because he makes playing baseball look so smooth and flowing, like it’s a natural thing to him,” explained Cory.
Harper plays outfield for the Washington Nationals and has won the Golden Spikes Award and in 2012 he was the youngest player to ever be selected for the All-Star game at 21. Harper’s swing is compared to Babe Ruth’s.
As far as influences go, Cory credits Spartan head coach Josh Rackley with a willingness to spend that one-on-one time with him when he needs it.
“My coach, Josh Rackley, influences me to be a better athlete because he is always there for me, inside or outside of baseball. If I need anything, he is always willing to spend one on one time with me to help work out whatever I need,” he asserted.
“The coaches love to hear that I want to get better. They like try to make that happen for the team. My coach has made me a better person all around in any situation I am in. Coach Rackley would always tell us to be as one, during games and at practices. We would learn to put aside our differences as a team, to play as almost one mind,” continued Cory.
The Spartans were the underdog going into the state playoffs this season, but against all odds, made it to the third round. They lost to county rival Midway.
Smith’s inspiration comes from Jesus Christ and his parents and he said, “Without Jesus, our team wouldn’t have made it as far as we did in the playoffs.”
He added, “My mom, Jojo Smith, and my father, Bryan Smith, are always at all of my games. They correct me when I need it and they both support me in the best way that they can.”
When he’s not playing or practicing baseball, Cory likes to hang out with friends. He also loves to fish or hunt.
Smith hunts every season that comes around, and said he finds that it brings him to a peaceful state of mind, and he can create his own world.
Cory has plans to attend North Carolina State or East Carolina. He would like to become a P.E teacher.
Cory said when he visited East Carolina, he really liked the campus, and especially the baseball field.