Dual-sport star keeps life in order
There might be times this spring when Quentin Pruneau won't know where he would be without his mother -- literally.
The sophomore attends Metro High School near the Ohio State campus but is playing two sports for Whetstone. His mother, Andrea, serves as his personal assistant, as she has put together an activities chart to help him juggle his baseball and tennis schedules while maintaining time for schoolwork.
"My mom makes lamination charts showing what (games and matches I have)," Pruneau said. "My mom's the real hero in all of this."
This is Pruneau's first year playing both baseball and tennis at the varsity level. A year ago, he played second doubles for the varsity boys tennis team and split time between the freshman and junior varsity baseball teams.
Pruneau earned the spot at second singles this season and won his first match April 8, beating Beechcroft's Daniel Bishoff 6-1, 6-2. Two days later, he opted to make his first varsity start on the mound for the baseball team against Linden-McKinley instead of participating in a tennis match against Africentric on April 10, in large part because the Braves were expected to defeat the Nubians.
The tennis team beat Africentric 5-0 and was 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the City League before playing Northland on April 15.
Pruneau began the spring splitting time between the j.v. and varsity baseball teams but has had more playing time on varsity in the wake of seven players being suspended for breaking curfew while on a spring-break trip to Louisville, Ky., during the first week of April.
"(Pruneau) texted me (April 8) and said (baseball coach Tim Broskie) wants him to pitch (April 10)," tennis coach Bucky Walters said. "He looks like he's going to be pitching some for (the baseball team). I know his parents were willing to drive him back and forth from Kentucky to play in our tennis matches. He's a great guy and his family's great, too."
The tennis team has key league matches Monday, April 22, at Centennial and Wednesday, April 24, at home against Columbus West. Last season, Whetstone went 10-2 in the City League to tie Beechcroft and Centennial for second, behind West (12-0).
"We only have one senior (Tyler Weisent) that starts, but we do have five returning players," Walters said. "Three of them were first-year players last year, so we're not like a senior-laden team."
In addition to pitching, Pruneau is serving as the backup third baseman for the baseball team. He may have found a permanent varsity role in the bullpen based on his performance during the trip to Kentucky, Broskie said.
On April 10, Pruneau wasn't able to arrive at Whetstone until 3:30 p.m. because of a school activity at Metro. After getting in a quick warm-up, he and his teammates on the baseball team left for their City League-North Division game at Linden.
Pruneau pitched three innings against the Panthers and picked up the victory as Whetstone won 10-0. The Braves gave him plenty of offensive support, scoring six runs in the first inning and two each in the second and third innings.
According to Broskie, each of the seven players who were suspended must sit out five regular-season games. The Braves were 3-4 overall and 2-0 in the City-North before playing Northland on April 15.
"(Pruneau) is a really bright young man, and he did a good job in relief in Louisville," Broskie said. "He threw strikes and he had a nice, big RBI single for us in one of the games. He's also playing tennis this year. (His family is) very organized. They (do a) schedule that's color-coated.
"He's really good at tennis and, obviously, he'll be in the rotation for us next year. He's really good."
Pruneau is happy that he has the opportunity to play two sports in the same season.
"It's been a challenge," he said. "I've had my fair share of people say, 'Why don't you pick a sport already?,' but it's hard when you have two sports that you love. The distance between most of our tennis matches and baseball games is not more than 15 minutes, so after finishing a tennis match I'll get in the car immediately and go to the baseball game. With rainouts, I just try to keep in contact with the coaches.
"Starting (April 10), I don't have a school day for the next three weeks where I don't have a baseball game or a tennis match. It gets a little stressful, but we've found a way to manage. I did it last year so we're acclimated to it. It's fun."
Paige Jr., Kincaid
leading track team
Boys track and field coach Joe Monda is expecting his inexperienced team to improve as the season wears on.
Seniors Joel Paige Jr. (shot put, discus) and Kellen Kincaid (middle distance) led the way for the Braves in their first two meets. Juniors Darius Bester (sprints) and David Simmons (long jump) and senior Da'Mon Rosemond (sprints) also have been key contributors.
On April 10, the Braves scored 48 points to place behind Watterson (60) and ahead of Linden-McKinley (41) in a tri-meet as Paige Jr. won the shot put (42 feet) and discus (96-2), Kincaid won the 400 meters (56.1 seconds) and Bester won the 100 (11.1).
Whetstone finished 14th (3) in the 14-team Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 13 behind champion and host Big Walnut (91).
"We're very young and they're going to be some growing pains, but I'm excited about our prospects," Monda said. "They're eager and hopefully they'll keep growing. I know our distance (runners are) going to come along and there's real potential with the sprinters."
The girls team also competed in the Golden Eagle Relays, placing ninth (28) of 14 teams behind champion Big Walnut (92).