ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – In our digital series “High School Standouts”, digital sports journalist Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, in hopes of taking that talent to the next level.
They are athletes who stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s high school star is Chase Hungate, a senior baseball and basketball player at Abingdon High School.
Baseball is a special game in Abingdon.
“I just play my game and show everyone what I can do,” said Chase Hungate, Abingdon graduate.
The Falcons uniform looks pretty good in Hungate.
“It’s really cool, I grew up watching kids go by here always dreaming of playing here and now I’m doing it so it’s been cool,” said Hungate.
He has played in college every four years and has been in the VHSL Class 3 State Championship match twice: his freshman in 2018 and his final year this spring.
“It’s crazy, you know this little town of Abindgon can play in state championships twice in four years, that’s really cool,” said Hungate.
“Chase never go too high never go too low what you want from a young man is a guy in a tough situation you are going to trust him to get through he will do his best”, coach Abingdon baseball chief, Mark Francisco mentioned.
He was a senior captain on the mound this season, but his first year he was the third baseman and played alongside a senior shortstop captain who was his older brother Cade Hungate.
“Oh yeah, it was really cool like he could train me, he was there, I was playing 3rd that year and we could chat,” said Hungate.
Cade went on to play baseball at Liberty University and Chase is getting ready to play VCU, but these DI brothers never forget the time they spent together in Abingdon.
“Oh, we talk about it all the time, just a few of the memories from that year in a freshman, it can be nervous, but it helped calm that down, so it was good,” said Hungate.
“Cade was an exceptional athlete, Chase is too, so they have been a pleasure to train and that Hungate name has been on our program for a long time, it’s a little sad to see it disappear,” said Francisco.
The loop kind of came full circle last month when Chase and the Falcons played the state semifinal game at Liberty baseball field.
“When we got there I was like wow this is where my brother is playing so yeah that was really cool we didn’t talk about it much after that i mean the game was about winning, ”Hungate said.
This year’s senior class had that experience of playing in the big game as freshmen, which helped them have a special season this year after missing their junior year due to the pandemic.
On top of that, a few of these guys, including Chase, played on the boys’ basketball team that won the state title game this winter. Pretty impressive career for these guys.
“He’s just an exceptional athlete, he had a bright future ahead of him at VCU, he’s the kind of athlete who could have played college basketball too, he really made a name for himself and was a outstanding player for us for four years, “said Francisco.
“We’ve just had a great chemistry that we’ve played with together since we were little kids, just knowing each of our strengths and weaknesses and just being able to build on that just so we can play our game,” said Hungate.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout weekly on WJHL.com.