Chris Hulmes had been a catcher most of his playing days, with a little bit of time at first base thrown in. He found himself at third base out of necessity last season.
It didn't take long for him to discover why they call it the hot corner, and he loved it.
"When I was younger, catcher (was his favorite)," he said. "But now that I have played third, it's most likely third."
Hulmes embraced the challenge of being quick enough to field balls hit right at him. He tackled it like he does all other responsibilities.
There's more to Hulmes than just baseball. The 18-year-old senior at Greenbrier East is as active in his community as anyone.
"I love getting out and helping the community," he said. "During the flood of 2016, we went out to the local towns that were affected and helped them, and helped friends that were flooded, helped them move. It just felt good to know that I was making an impact in the community."
It didn't stop there.
He and other members of Greenbrier East's chapter of the National Honor Society have volunteered at the annual Autumnfest at Frankford Elementary and made Oreo balls for distribution at the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival. He was also part of a church group that made food for disabled and older adults who are aided by the Shepherd's Center in Lewisburg.
Hulmes and the other honor society members also served as mentors to middle school students last year.
"Every other week we would go to the middle school and we would have lunch with them and just talk with them about school and about what they like outside of school," Hulmes said. "Let them know that people care about them and there is always someone they have to talk to."
"He is definitely a standup kid," Spartans coach Cory Mann said. "He's a hard-working kid who will do anything you ask him to and more. Definitely a leader in the clubhouse. He's the kind of guy who is going to stay and help pick stuff up or grab a bucket of balls, even as a senior. Definitely leads by example for young kids."
He also gets the job done between the lines. He unfortunately will not get a chance to put that on display this spring thanks to the closure of all spring sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he plans to continue his career at West Virginia Wesleyan.
"He's a team guy. He has a great attitude and loves to be on the field around his teammates," Mann said. "Very good defensive player. He has a good glove, and he swings (the bat) well, too."
Organized baseball is on the shelf for now, but Hulmes and a few of his friends have been getting together to stay as sharp as possible. He has also been throwing with his dad in their front yard.
The pandemic has also afforded Hulmes more family time.
"Sometimes my mom, my dad and I will go out and explore and just see what's out on a backroad or something," he said. "I go fishing sometimes or go play with my dog in the backyard. Just try to find something to do to stay entertained."
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