Name: Houston Koon
Graduation Class: 2019
High School: Wilkes Central
Years with the Dirtbags: 3
College Commitment: North Carolina State University
Entering your third year with the Dirtbags, what’s one thing you have learned over the years?
The importance of playing as a team. Showcase baseball can get a bad reputation for players playing for themselves and not being a team. But, with my experience as a Dirtbag all the teams I’ve played on have really come together. I’ve made some great friendships and learned how to compete and win together.
You made a significant strides between your Freshman and Sophomore summers. What did you do?
Stayed in the weight room, I put on fifteen pounds of good weight between those summers and I really saw my performance take off. I also tried to simplify my swing, where there wasn’t as many moving parts. Both of those aspects really helped me make strides on the field.
When you hear the word “Dirtbag”, what comes to mind?
A player that wants to win and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
What’s your most memorable game in a Dirtbag uniform?
My most memorable game was playing against 5 Star National in the PG World Series. They threw a good arm against us and it was a low scoring game. We were down (2-1) early but, we rallied together in the sixth and scored four runs and won it. That was probably one of the most exciting games of my life.
Who’s the best player you have played with while playing with the Dirtbags?
I’d have to say Hunter Goodman (Memphis Signee). When I was pulled up over the summer I played one tournament with the All Blacks and I think he hit four home runs, that was pretty impressive!
Take us through the years with the Dirtbags. Looking back on 2016 and 2017 what comes to mind?
2016- This was the first year playing with a elite group of players, so it was an eye opening experience to see what the top level of High School baseball player were like. I tried to use this to help me in the weight room and practices. When you get in those moods where you want to be lazy, but you know your competition is trying to take your spot. That really fueled me to become a better player.
2017- Last year I remember our teams “will to win”. Our team had a competitive fire, that was fun.
What made you want to be part of the Dirtbags?
They stood out to me. From the coaching staff to the players, it was a program I wanted to be part of. Being a Dirtbag, you know you are always going to get everyone’s best shot.
What are you looking forward to as you enter your final season in a Dirtbag uniform?
Winning! Last year’s Jupiter tournament left a sour taste in my mouth. I’m looking forward to going back and competing to win another title for the Dirtbags.
For the younger athletes reading this article. What advice would you give to them?
Get in the weight room, strength can help you in every facet of the game. Don’t be afraid to work, there is always someone out there trying to beat you.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about Houston Koon, when it comes to playing baseball?
I wasn’t the most naturally gifted athlete, I continue to have to work for everything I get.
Stayed tuned for more exciting “Under The Gun” interviews…