Defense, tenacity land Thompson at Tech
BRYANT – The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys plucked yet another from the Bryant Hornet baseball team as senior second baseman Korey Thompson signed his letter of intent to play for the Wonder Boys on Friday morning at Bryant High School. Thompson joins former Bryant Hornets Marcus Wilson and Nate Rutherford at Tech.
“Every person I’ve talked to Korey about loves his tenacity,” Bryant Coach Kirk Bock said. “He’s a go-getter. His work ethic, obviously defensively his skills are good. He keeps right on going. That’s what’s impressed a lot of people. That’s one of the things that Tech really liked about him; with all the schools I’ve talked to. The way he goes about his business, the way he plays the game as hard as he can. I think he’ll have a good career at Tech.”
Thompson said he fulfilled a dream he’s had at a young age.
“It all started when I was younger,” Thompson said. “I knew I wanted to play, go to the next level. I just had to work hard through everything because I know sometimes people look at my size and thought I wasn’t going to do anything. That just made me work even harder.”
Thompson, who stands 5-foot-4, explained further.
“I’ve been one to work hard no matter what,” he said. “Ever since I was little, when I was 4, I was smaller than everybody. That weighed throughout my career. I felt that I had to push myself to stay at the top with [everyone else]. That’s just what I did.”
Though he was contacted by schools such as Hendrix, University of Monticello and Ouachita Baptist University, Thompson knew quickly he was destined for Russellville. ATU finished third last season in the Great American Conference, an NCAA Division II institution.
“I like the atmosphere around there,” Thompson said. “I like the coaches. The campus is awesome. I just fell in love as soon as I got there.”
Other than Thompson’s tenacity, there’s little doubt what has carried him so far through baseball.
“I think defensively he’ll be in the lineup immediately,” Bock said of ATU. “Maybe put him in defensive situations late in the game. And when his offense comes around I think he’ll be an everyday guy. I don’t think he’ll be a redshirt guy. I think he’ll play as a freshman.
“He’s like a lot of those infielders we’ve had. He knows how to play the game, physically, but also mentally. He knows what to do and when to do it. Nowadays a lot of kids don’t know that, but Korey’s got that knack.
Thompson, who said wants to study kinesiology and possibly become a coach, agrees that defense has propelled his stock.
“That’s just been my speciality,” he said. “A lot last year I was in the game because of my defense. I didn’t hit that well last year so I was in there for my defense. That’s what motivated me. I still had to work on my hitting because if I didn’t hit, I didn’t play.