The former freshman is now a leader as his senior baseball season gets underway.
When Lake Washington High’s Nation Wood entered his initial year on the Kang team, he was in awe of the older guys. As the season progressed, they meshed as a stellar squad with 24 out of 26 games being etched into the victory book.
They finished the 2016 campaign at the top of the 3A stack with a state championship.
“It’s a surreal experience almost, just ‘cause I still remember coming in here as a freshman and looking up to all the guys… Matt Scheffler and Paul Falco and Austin Lively,” Wood said before a recent practice. “It’s cool to be able to have the opportunity to pass what they taught us down to the younger guys now.”
While watching guys like Scheffler constantly grinding it out and getting better at their skills each day, Wood developed a work ethic that has served him well over the last four years.
Camaraderie is key as well and Wood enjoys hitting the diamond each day with the Kang crew.
“That helps me put myself in a positive mindset, ‘cause if I’m having fun out there with my friends — that I’ve been friends with since Little League — I play better ‘cause I’m in a better frame of mind to succeed,” said Wood, who will playing right field this season.
As Wood surveys the scene on the LW baseball field, he notes that the team has a lot of solid hitters and pitchers back on board this season. Some of the guys are Torin Montgomery (senior 1B/3B), Travis Lee (senior infielder), I-ly Hsue (senior infielder), Jose and Jesus Vizcarra (senior brothers who play infield/pitcher and catcher, respectively) and pitchers Oliver Laufman (senior), Ryan Macomber (senior) and Ryan Thomson (junior).
The Reporter asked Wood a few questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Noppakao, it’s a Thai place in Juanita.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Having to repeat myself more than once.
What’s something unique about yourself?
I guess it’s unique for this area: I’ve been surfing since I was 6 or 7. We go down to Westport or I go to California, I have some family down there.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Not letting fear of failure hold you back from trying.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Gotta go with R & B.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Tony Gwynn, because I feel like he could just talk for hours about hitting and just baseball. I think that’s something that would be real interesting to hear about.
What’s a special skill would you like to learn?
I’m trying right now to learn guitar in one of my classes, but I think that would be something that I would like to actually get good at.