Connor McPeek does not mind hard work. In fact, he loves it.
The Alleghany Mountaineers senior may work harder than anyone else, which has allowed him to succeed in all his athletic ventures.
In his freshman and junior seasons, McPeek ran cross country, and this year, his 12th grade year, he added indoor track to his list of things to do. His cross-country teams won the region championships, and his indoor track squad were region runners-up this season. Individually, McPeek broke the 55-meter dash school record and his team broke school records in the 4×200 and the 4×400 events.
However, as successful as he was at running and re-writing the record books, McPeek did it all for one reason.
“Both years of cross country and this indoor track season was all to prepare for baseball,” McPeek said.
“Even during the indoor track season, I would go to the cage and hit after practice and lift. I love to lift weights and love the feeling of pushing myself past my limits. I just want to be stronger and faster every day,” he added.
When he has a good game or a good play in the field, it is not the training that McPeek credits for that, despite always working hard. Instead, he looks to his strong faith.
“I never miss a church service and I always remember to put God first and to give him the glory when I perform well. I feel like that is the most important thing about me and it helps me stay level-headed during games,” he explained.
It is also faith that helps McPeek understand that family is important, and it is something he does not take for granted.
“My family has been my number one supporter since I was little. My dad takes time from his weekends and offers to take me to the field. My parents and my grandparents never miss a game. It is something special for them to watch me play the game I love. It means so much to see them in the stands,” McPeek said.
It is that kind of support that will make McPeek undeniably miss his time at Alleghany and his time within the athletic programs as well, plus his big dreams still have a chance to be reality before he goes.
“Upholding the name of Alleghany baseball is something that I have dreamed of since I was nine going to the baseball camps held by coach Rice. It means everything to be successful and to show people that we are going to be the best team Alleghany has ever had,” McPeek said.
“The brotherhood that is formed by being on the team. All the hard-fought wins and time we spend together makes everyone on that team feel like a brother to me. I love them, all of them,” he continued.
The ‘team’ is important to the senior, and McPeek hopes that next year that will remain true with everyone once the consolidation is official.
“I hope that the team, despite the merger, will be as close as we are now. I hope that the program grows into something more special than what it is now. I hope they can make the same kind of friendships that I have made by playing on this team,” McPeek said thankfully.
With another month and-a-half or so left in the season, the second baseman has been hitting and playing well, but he wants people to understand that it is his work ethic that has helped him along the way.
“I just want people to know that everything I have did not come from pure talent. I worked my butt off everyday in the gym, on the track and in the cage to become the player I am today,” McPeek said.
So, where does this Alleghany team finish this season?
“Our goal is to win it all and I think everyone on the team expects nothing less,” McPeek concluded.
After graduation, McPeek will head to James Madison University and will major in kinesiology and will then head to Physical Therapy School to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.