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Sandy Valley graduate Luke Kail looks back on high school career

By BRIAN KING The Press-News Published: July 1, 2016 10:00 AM
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At the Kail household, every season is baseball season.

Sandy Valley graduate Luke Kail is part of a family where baseball runs in their blood. Kail used that fuel during his high school career to capture two school records, first-team IVC two times, and first-team All-Ohio in his final season as an infielder for the Cardinals.

Kail's brother, Jake, currently plays his college ball at the College of Wooster while his father, Brady, played baseball at the University of Cincinnati for one year before transferring to Capital to finish his schooling and playing career.

It was his father that got Luke into baseball and Brady currently serves as the pitching coach for the Cardinals varsity squad.

"My dad has done a lot in getting me into sports," said Luke. "I've been playing and watching baseball since I was a kid. While other kids were watching cartoons, I seemed to always be watching baseball or basketball with my dad. He has been a big impact in getting me in the game and sparking my interest in baseball."

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Along with baseball, Luke was a 3 year letter winner on the Cardinals basketball team, serving as the starting point guard the final two years of his high school career.

During his senior baseball campaign, Kail hit just under .500 at the plate while accumulating a school record 36 steals. He also set the career stolen base record at Sandy Valley.

Kail will be heading to college this fall at Bluffton University, where he will major in exercise science and strength and conditioning.

It was one person at the school that made his decision easy while narrowing his choices down to Bluffton, Capital and Ohio Wesleyan.

"Bluffton's head coach, James Grandey, was the reason I kept coming back," said Kail. "He is a great guy and I can't wait to be a part of the program. I felt at home and didn't feel the same way visiting other schools."

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It was also one specific situation that sold Kail to the school and the baseball program.

"During basketball season, one of the assistant baseball coaches came and watched one of my games and that was cool," said Kail. "That was something that had nothing to do with baseball and they were taking the time to come to Sandy Valley and watch me. It was special."

The 2016 Bluffton baseball team finished the season with a 14-26 record and were 9-18 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Kail has big expectations heading into the fall and has his sights on starting but understands that hard work is in store once he hits campus.

"Academically, I want to take in as much as possible and have a great experience so I am prepared to tackle what's next," said Kail. "Athletically, I'd like to start coming in and that will take work. I wake to make an impact and be the best teammate I can be. Regardless if I start or not, I want to have the best attitude I can."

Kail understands he could not have accomplished anything if it wasn't for his parents, Brady and Suzanne Kail of Waynesburg, who were with him every step of the way.

"My mom has spent so much time taking me to all the games and continues to tell me how much she likes watching me play," said Kail. "I think I have made her like baseball a little bit more. My dad has done a lot in getting me into sports. When I get frustrated during the season, it's good to talk to him since he is right in the dugout with me. He's helped me a lot as both a player and personally. I thank both my parents a lot for all they have done."

Ather person that has impacted Kail on both his playing and personal life is Sandy Valley head baseball coach Brian Gamble.

"Coach Gamble is one of the best coaches in Ohio," said Kail. "He has completely turned the atmosphere of the baseball program at Sandy Valley and our beautiful field shows that. We take pride in our field which has changed our attitude and respect for the game. I expect Sandy Valley baseball to get better in the future because of him."

Kail currently is playing summer ball for the Stark County Terriers.

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