SPOTLIGHT ON SENIORS: St. Stephens’ Peissel, Isenhour discuss training regimens, legacies and more | high school sports news

JACKSON SHOE Sports Correspondent Record

The state baseball playoffs begin Tuesday, with brackets to be released Monday. One of the teams designated to represent Hickory Daily LogCoverage spanning Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties is St. Stephens, which is currently 20-6 and is coming off strong performances in two recent tournaments.

The Indians won the 30th annual Catawba County Easter Baseball Classic last month at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds, beating Bunker Hill, Fred T. Foard and Alexander Central several days in a row. And while St. Stephens fell to Fred T. Foard in the Western Foothills 3A Conference Tournament Championship Game last week, the Indians are 7-2 in their last nine games.

HDR sports correspondent Jackson Shoe recently caught up with St. Stephens seniors Julien Peissel and Silas Isenhour. Here’s a look at what two of India’s top players had to say:

Who was your athlete or inspiring adult growing up?

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Peissel: My inspirational athlete growing up was Madison Bumgarner because he’s local, made it to the big leagues, and is a three-time World Series champion.

Isenhour: My athlete who inspired me was Mike Trout. I’ve had a poster of him on my wall since I can remember and have always admired him.

What convinced you of the college/university you joined?

Peissel: What convinced me to commit to UNC Greensboro was the excellent coaching staff and the location, the size of the campus, and the incredible college programs available.

Isenhour: The atmosphere of the college and the city (at Mars Hill). I love the mountains and all the friendly people there.

What does your training look like during the season compared to the off-season?

Peissel: My training during the season consists of basic arm care routines including PLYO balls, J-bands and fast twitch exercises to stay explosive. Training during the off-season is done in the weight room four to five times a week in order to gain weight.

Isenhour: In the offseason, I lift five times a week and throw and hit about three times. During the season, I focus on flexibility and hitting and throwing at least five days a week.

What is your favorite thing about playing baseball?

Peissel: My favorite thing about playing baseball is the adrenaline rush you get in a close game late in the game.

Isenhour: My favorite thing about baseball is being able to have fun with the team. They are some of my best friends and it’s great fun to be with them.

What is the most important lesson that sport has taught you?

Peissel: The most important lesson baseball has taught me is to take it one pitch at a time. Baseball is a long game and can change suddenly.

Isenhour: The most important lesson sports taught me is to always have good communication with everything you do in life. If you don’t communicate, everything will fall apart.

Who do you model your game on in the pros or not?

Peissel: I model my game after (Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher) Brusdar Graterol. We both throw similar pitches – fastball and slider.

Isenhour: I try to model my game after (Philadelphia Phillies outfielder) Bryce Harper. I like to play well and I like to look good.

How have you progressed since you were in 3rd grade?

Peissel: I’ve progressed since I was in ninth grade by gaining 30 pounds, adding 15 mph on my fastball, and developing a sweeping slider I can throw for a strike.

Isenhour: The main progression from ninth to 12th grade is the weight room. Contrary to popular belief, the weight room is a baseball player’s best friend.

What has been the key to the formation of the team this year?

Peissel: The key to forming the team this year is the chemistry we all have with each other. We’ve all been playing together since Little League. The team knows we have the talent to win every time we step on the diamond and we work well together to get points at all levels.

Isenhour: The key was to have good communication and good teamwork.

Where do you train during the off-season?

Peissel: I train in the offseason with Ryan Gant at Original Workout for strength training. To kick things off, I train with Tread Athletics, an online program based in Charlotte.

Isenhour: I do all my training at 828 Performance.

What do you think you want your legacy to be once you leave Saint?

Peissel: I want my legacy in Saint to be the ace that led the Indians to their first state championship since the 1970s champions.

Isenhour: I wish I could leave the younger class knowing what leadership is and how to be a leader in the team.

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