Elkins among state leaders in batting

Published 2:32 pm Monday, May 6, 2019

Middlesboro junior Collier Elkins is among the best in the state when it comes to swinging a bat. Elkins currently sits at 8th in the state in batting average, hitting .545 on the season.

In 55 at-bats this year, Elkins has accumulated 30 hits, including two home runs. Along with sitting in the top-10 in batting average, Elkins ranks 25th in slugging percentage and sits just outside the top-25 in doubles at 27th, with eight doubles on the season.

Elkins has dreams of playing for a division one baseball program, preferably in the SEC, and puts in as much extra work as he can get. Elkins’ father, Mark, says that his son has wanted to play at the next level for a long time.

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“Collier expressed at an early age that he wanted to play baseball at the next level,” said Mark. “He puts in all of the extra work that he can. He will practice on days that there is no practice, he will practice on weekends and he even practices on his own after he practices with the team. He’s dedicated. He played travel ball in Lexington last year and lead the team in almost every statistical hitting category. He faced some really good competition playing up there, and I think it really benefited him a lot.

“He’s been trying to get a little bigger. He went on a diet plan over this past summer and gained 20 pounds in about 20 weeks. He’s really trying to get his body in top physical form in order to help prepare him for the next level. He’s a junior this year, so he’s still got a year to grow both physically and in talent, but there’s no doubt that he is going to do whatever it takes to get himself there.”

“Collier is a great kid,” said Middlesboro head coach John Smith. “He works very hard at practice. He’s always getting extra work in and you can tell he is very motivated and dedicated to do what it takes to improve. He has done a wonderful job for us this season, and we’re glad we have him on our side. You never have to worry about him working hard.”

Elkins is thankful for every opportunity to improve.

“I’ve been trying to get bigger since freshman year,” says Elkins. “This is the first year I’ve actually noticed a big change in my body. I gained 20 pounds over the summer, which was huge for me. I’m trying to get my body ready for the next level and I’ve still got some more to go, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there.

“Playing travel ball over this past year was great for me. The competition was great up there and I saw a lot of things that I wasn’t used to seeing, which helped me prepare better for things that I may see in the future. I’m trying to go as far as I can go in baseball. I would love to make it to the majors one day, and I’m willing to work as hard as it takes to get there. I would really like to go to the University of Tennessee to play baseball and eventually play for the Atlanta Braves.”

Elkins believes that his team is capable of going far this season on the diamond.

“Everybody has been doubting us this whole year. I mean, I heard it from everyone outside the team. We have a winning record right now, and I think we can win every game we have left in the regular season. I really think we can win the district this year. We’ve worked hard and we are going to come to play. I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates, they’ve always been there to support me and make me better.”