Franklin’s MVP reflects on seasonPublished 9:15am Friday, June 7, 2013
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/STAFF WRITER
FRANKLIN—Franklin High School’s loss will be North Carolina A&T State University’s gain when Tevin Sumblin joins that school’s fall baseball program this year.
Sumblin, a senior Bronco, has earned the distinction of not only being the District Player of the Year, but also Franklin High’s Most Valuable Player. He was among the school’s athletes recognized during the sports banquet on Monday.
“I was very, very humbled by the award,” Sumblin said. “I could not have earned it without my teammates and coach.”
With the trophy — now his third — in his bedroom, the 18-year-old can continue concentrating on the remainder of his final school year. He’s an honor student.
Although Sumblin intends to major in architectural engineering at A&T, he’s been to ball camps twice and evidently has impressed the coaches enough to play at the start.
During his time on the field, Sumblin usually played shortstop and first base, with some pitching. He hopes to be on first or third base for the university’s team.
As one might expect, winning was most important to Sumblin for this past season, adding, “We struggled as a young team.” He also said he did well because of good leadership from Dave Lease, the head coach and school’s athletic director.
“Coach Lease didn’t allow any mess, and kept us in line,” Sumblin said, adding that the team’s three good captains, “made it easier on my part.”
He usually practiced two hours a day in a batting cage, a courtyard or at home, he said, to better his game.
“A lot of the guys took it on themselves to practice,” Lease said. “The cage was always open. They’re a good bunch of guys. I’m very happy with them.”
Sumblin’s been playing the game since he was a four-year-old at T-ball.
“My parents started me,” Sumblin said. His folks are Carla and Edward Sumblin of Franklin. Brandon, Ryan and Jaquan are his brothers, and he also counts cousin Daquan Clemons as a brother as well.
During those early years of playing, his mother said he made plays that had her wondering where Tevin learned to play like that, and then declared her son has a gift for the game.
“We’re hoping for a great year next year,” Lease said, pointing for encouragement to Michael Edwards.
“We’ll come back to be better as a whole team,” said Edwards, also an honor student. He’s the son of Robin and Michael Edwards.
“I’m just thankful to God,” Sumblin said. “Without Him, I’m basically nothing. My parents taught me to be God-fearing and make ‘em proud.”