Camp Verde athlete of the week: Senior Castillo helps No. 5 Cowboys from center field, first base and the mound

Camp Verde senior John Castillo bats against Glendale Prep on April 13. Castillo was 3-for-4 with two runs and a walk in the Cowboys’ 14-1 win over the Griffins. (VVN/James Kelley)

Camp Verde senior John Castillo bats against Glendale Prep on April 13. Castillo was 3-for-4 with two runs and a walk in the Cowboys’ 14-1 win over the Griffins. (VVN/James Kelley)

After starting the season slower than he would have liked, versatile Camp Verde High baseball senior John Castillo has taken off of late.

Castillo, who has played center field, first base and pitcher this year, is hitting .354 with 9 RBIs and 34 runs for the No. 5 Cowboys (23-3, 5-1 Central).

“Great kid, works hard, no arguments if you ask him to do something,” Camp Verde head coach Will Davis. “It doesn’t matter if it’s play left field, center field, third base, first base, he just does it, no complaints and works hard and does a good job there.”

Last week against Glendale Prep, Castillo was 3-for-4 with 2 runs and a walk. As a pitcher this year he is 3-0 with a 2.58 ERA.

He also played soccer for Camp Verde, scoring 7 goals with 3 assists in 21 games.

This season he had most played center field after splitting time between there and first base last year.

“He’s a great kid, great student, good grades,” Davis said. “He’s just a pleasure to have around.”

VVN: How’s the season gone for you guys?

Castillo: It’s been going good, we’re winning, we have a really good record and it’s going well.

VVN: How about for you personally?

Castillo: It’s going well. I had been struggling for a little bit and then me and coach worked on stuff about two weeks ago and it’s been paying off.

VVN: How about last week, what’s it like to be 4-for-4 and then lose it? Is it disappointing or like “well it’s okay I did well?”

Castillo: It is disappointing because like you did your best out there, but it’s a team sport, so we all got to play our best every game for us to work together.

VVN: How much do you think it will help to be playing well this late in the season, to be peaking or coming close to it?

Castillo: I think it’s good, all of us want to be peaking at the end of the year and that’s our goal at the beginning of the season: just to be better every game, to be better than we were last game.

VVN: What’s your favorite position?

Castillo: I like first I think most.

VVN: How come?

Castillo: I just like being in the infield, a little more action going on in the infield every pitch.

VVN: What’s been your favorite game so far that you’ve played in?

Castillo: Probably our first game against Sedona, just getting that win against them. I believe it was like 7-3 or 7-4, but just getting that win against Sedona, just winning that rivalry game.

VVN: How successful do you think this team can be with all the seniors?

Castillo: If we play the best game that we can, I don’t think anyone can stop us. If we have everyone playing our best.

VVN: How close is this team with all the seniors?

Castillo: We’re close, we’ve all been playing together since tee ball, so like all nine of us, we’ve been super close.

VVN: Who’s your favorite baseball player?

Castillo: I really like Randy Johnson, he’s a great pitcher.

VVN: Who’s your favorite team?

Castillo: Diamondbacks.

VVN: Do you have a favorite TV show?

Castillo: Not really, I don’t watch too much TV (laughs).

VVN: Do you have a favorite movie?

Castillo: No, I like so many movies too (laughs).

VVN: What do you do on road trips, do you study a lot, listen to music, talk with friends?

Castillo: We’ll talk, mess around, have a good time.

VVN: What’s your favorite subject in school?

Castillo: Weights (laughs), but favorite core subject, that’s math.

VVN: How come?

Castillo: It’s just cool learning crazy stuff, like in Calculus, some of the stuff that we’ve been doing.

VVN: I don’t know if you’ve thought about it, but where do you see yourself in five years?

Castillo: In five years, graduating from college and all. I’m not totally sure on what I’ll do (laughs).

VVN: Where do you want to go? Do you know yet?

Castillo: I’m going to be going to ASU.


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