If Gig Harbor seniors Avery Jones, RJ Green, Patrick Fredrickson, Chad Stevens and Cameron Macintosh formed a five-man high school baseball team, they’d be a formidable one. All five will likely be college baseball players.
Jones, a pitcher, has signed with Washington State; Fredrickson, a pitcher, with the University of Minnesota; Stevens, a shortstop, with the University of Portland. Green, a center fielder, is headed to Tacoma Community College to play baseball, while Macintosh, a second baseman, is undecided on a college but plans to play baseball next year.
So yeah, on the baseball diamond, this group could stack up against a lot of good baseball players across the state. But what about on the basketball court?
Turns out they’re pretty good there, also.
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Green, Stevens, Jones and Fredrickson are all starters for the Tides basketball team this season, while Macintosh is a regular contributor. Only Jones and Green even played basketball for the high school last season.
“It was just our last season,” Green said.
We wanted everybody to play together in our senior year. We thought we’d have a pretty good team and make it a lot of fun.
Cameron Macintosh, Gig Harbor senior
“We wanted everybody to play together in our senior year,” Macintosh said. “We thought we’d have a pretty good team and make it a lot of fun.”
Most of the group of five has been playing basketball together since third or fourth grade, for PAA and the Harbor Hoops program. Macintosh and Stevens were on the same team together in first grade.
“I remember Chad (Stevens) was a ball hog,” Macintosh said, to the laughter of the others.
If he was, Stevens contested it was because Macintosh was shy about shooting (although in Macintosh’s defense, that could be because he never saw enough of the ball to get into a rhythm).
So when the season rolled around, the guys knew it would be the last chance for many of them to ever play competitive basketball.
I wanted to get ready for college baseball but I didn’t want to let the boys down.
Avery Jones, WSU baseball signee
“I wasn’t even going to play this year,” Jones said. “I decided two nights before tryouts. I wanted to get ready for college baseball but I didn’t want to let the boys down.”
All the guys pointed to Fredrickson, the team’s 6-foot-7 center, as the funniest of the group.
“He’s just a random guy,” Jones said. “You never know what’s going to come out of his month.”
“He’s a box of chocolates,” said Green.
Fredrickson dropped 20 points in game this season already, and each one of them has varying opinions on who’s the best basketball player of the group. Fredrickson said Stevens. Macintosh said Green. Regardless of who it is, they’re all having fun playing together one last time.
“It’s one of the most fun seasons we’ve had,” Macintosh said. “We’re all good friends and we all have the same goals in mind.”
Gig Harbor High athletic director Bob Werner has often spoke about wanting more student-athletes to be multi-sport athletes.
At the end of the day, we want the best athletes in the school playing.
Billy Landram, Gig Harbor coach
“At the end of the day, we want the best athletes in the school playing,” said Gig Harbor coach Billy Landram. “We try to mix that with the best basketball players, and wherever they end up, they end up. I would always like every kid to try out and then we would choose who makes the team.”
Maybe they’re not the most polished basketball players in the world. But they’re fierce competitors.
“They’re very competitive,” Landram said. “You don’t get to that level in baseball or any sport if you’re not competitive. We have some other good guys on this team that help fuel the fire as well. We’re trying to find a mix that works best for us right now.”