Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.

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Arcanum’s Connor Pohl signed his commitment to play baseball for the Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday, hoping dreams come true…after dreams come true!

Arcanum – Arcanum senior Connor Pohl described signing a commitment to play baseball next fall for the Ohio State Buckeyes as a “dream come true.”

“It’s always been my dream school,”  he said without reservation, eschewing the fact of other schools in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Hungtington, West Virginia that could have scratched his itch to play college baseball just as successfully.

“Ohio State is where I want to be.”

And he’s going to get that chance given his status as one of the area’s top high school talents both as an infielder and pitcher for the Cross County Conference Trojans, now 7-2 in this windy, rainy, sleeting, and snowy on-and-off season.

Currently he’s hitting in the neighborhood of .450 (but it could be higher, given the lack of at bats), with a single home run that’s impressive when you consider it came at home…at Arcanum…with the biggest outfield of any high school field between Great American Ballpark and Progressive Field in Cleveland.  It’s where home runs for the average player go to die, so when someone hits one in Arcanum it’s headline news.

He fits the “eye test” for a Greg Beals recruit at Ohio State.  He’s tall (6’4″), athletic, and has a frame that will easily carry an additional 20 pounds when he gets into the Buckeye weight room.

He fits the physical model of others currently having success in the Buckeye program…outfielders Ronnie Dawson and Jacob Bosiokovic, and pitchers Adam Niemeyer and Ryan Feltner.

Moreover, he joins what Beals has previously described as the most impressive recruiting class of his six years at head coach.  Others may turn out to be better, but NONE is happier to be a Buckeye.

“He (Beals) really made an impression on me,”  says Pohl.  “He impressed me as a good man and a good baseball coach.  He made the point of telling me how they could improve me as a player and I liked him as soon as I met him.”

He’s Arcanum’s #1 pitcher as well as their #1 offensive threat.  But more, he’s what coach Randy Baker also calls his #1 worker at making the most of his physical attributes.

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“He can play either corner infield position, he’s our #1 pitcher, and he has a great bat.”  – Arcanum Coach Randy Baker  (Photo Courtesy of Ben Robinson)

“He’s come so far since coming in here his freshman year,”  said Baker at Wednesday’s ceremony in the Arcanum gymnasium.  “He really improved between his sophomore and junior year.  But he made a huge jump between his junior and senior year.  He worked extremely hard during this past off-season.  He’s in the gym a lot.  He hit a lot.  He did everything he could to get his body ready to play.

“He can play either of the corner infield positions.  He has a great bat and he’s a pretty good pitcher for us.  He’s our #1 , so generally, he’s just a really good athlete.”

Rival coaches are just as complimentary.

“Good player,” says one, speaking off the record.  “Don’t want him to come back and use that against us, but he has the type of body and gifts that college coaches develop every day.”

mrshoppe_sidebar_284x284He’ll graduate from Arcanum this spring with a 3.4 GPA and lists psychology and criminal justice as interests for a course of study at Ohio State.  He knows the next step is the biggest in his baseball life, and likewise a big step in the history of Arcanum baseball.  In Randy Baker’s 21 years as head coach, Connor Pohl is his FIRST Division I signee.

“It’s an honor,”  added Baker.  “And it’s great for Arcanum because Connor proves what can happen when you work hard and put the time in.  It’s a great lesson for the other kids in the program.”

“It makes me feel very accomplished, as a player and as a student, too,”  adds Pohl, with unmistakable excitement in his voice…and just a little emotion.

In fact, if you looked close Wednesday at the gathering throng of family, friends, teammates and well-wishers, you might have found a moist eye and or a lump in one’s throat.  Such is the pride that comes from being one’s first.

And such is the anticipation of many more firsts!

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