Thu, May 23

Camp Verde athlete of the week: Junior Dawson McCune leads youthful Camp Verde baseball

Camp Verde junior Dawson McCune is hitting .367 with a .506 on base percentage and plays first base, centerfield and pitches. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Camp Verde junior Dawson McCune is hitting .367 with a .506 on base percentage and plays first base, centerfield and pitches. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

A key figure in Camp Verde High baseball’s surprising season is junior Dawson McCune.

After mostly spending last year on the bench, McCune has emerged as a team captain for the No. 14 Cowboys. After having 10 seniors last year, this season CV has none.

“He’s been our stalwart,” said CV head coach Will Davis. “He’s been our most consistent guy all year, just comes out and works hard every day in practice and the same thing at game time.”

Davis had hoped McCune would have a season like this. Although he worked on his game every day in the offseason, he wasn’t sure if McCune had the mental part of the game down yet. He was glad to be proven wrong.

“He’s been playing first and center field both, just depending where we need him based on what game and what kind of hitting we’re going to see,” Davis said. “He’s probably the most versatile where I’ve been able to use him any where I need him, other than you know left side of the infield where a lefty can’t really be successful.”

McCune, nicknamed “Dawnie Baseball,” is hitting .367, has an on base percentage of .506, has 13 RBIs and 20 runs.

“He’s just one of the better kids that you’ll ever find, never arguing, not ever in trouble, great grades, just a good all around young person,” Davis said.

VVN: How do you think the season’s been going for you?

McCune: As young as we are, I think our season’s going pretty good, I mean a couple of losses here and there but all together we’re doing pretty good.

VVN: Did you expect to be doing so well this year?

McCune: Nah, I actually didn’t think we were going to do this good, but we have a lot of talent on this team.

VVN: How about for you personally?

McCune: Right now I’m kinda in a slump the last couple of games but I know I’ll get through it but right now I’m doing pretty good.

VVN: How much of a change has it been for you to change roles and move up and play more?

McCune: Oh it’s a huge change, I mean I went from sitting on the bench last year to starting positions, being a team captain, it’s a big change.

VVN: Did you think about that last year, like looking at the things the seniors did and kinda modeling stuff that they did to prepare for the next year because you knew that was going to happen?

McCune: Oh yeah, definitely following in their footsteps because they were a big inspiration since being new here last year, following their footsteps was huge.

VVN: What positions have you been playing this year?

McCune: First base, pitcher and starting center fielder.

VVN: What’s your favorite one to do?

McCune: Probably centerfield.

VVN: How come?

McCune: I don’t know, I’ve played that position ever since I was a little kid, I’m pretty good, I know how to read the ball and everything like that.

VVN: How long have you been playing baseball?

McCune: Since I was eight.

VVN: How did you get into it?

McCune: I mean offseason of football I started out and then it just became my favorite sport.

VVN: What’s the best part about playing baseball?

McCune: Just making new friends, coming out, making some great plays and winning (laughs).

VVN: What’s your favorite team?

McCune: Arizona Diamondbacks.

VVN: How come?

McCune: I don’t know, I grew up with them, always, since I was little.

VVN: Do you have a favorite player?

McCune: Paul Goldschmidt.

VVN: How come?

McCune: I don’t know, first base because I played first base when I was little too, so he’s always been a big inspiration.

VVN: What other sports are you into besides baseball?

McCune: Football and basketball.

VVN: How’s school been going for you?

McCune: School’s been going pretty good, I’m in the top of my class right now, like one of the top 10s, so doing pretty good.

VVN: What kinds of things do you like to do outside of sports?

McCune: I’m in FFA right now, I’m also in FCA and I volunteer at my church a little bit too.

VVN: Finally, do you know what you want to do after high school? McCune: Either go to college, play baseball or go into the Air Force.