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Taking his cuts

By Mike Beas

The differences between the sports Ethan Walls plays at Danville High School are many, though the common thread is a powerful one:

Whether on the football field or in the batter’s box, Walls is expected to hit.

The senior has done exactly that, particularly as the designated hitter – and part-time catcher – on the Warriors’ baseball team, which completed the regular season with a 15-12 record through. During this time, Walls ranked first on the team in doubles (five), and second in both batting average (.325) and runs batted in (18).

“Ethan has had a solid career for us,” said Danville baseball coach Pat O’Neil. “He’s a tri-captain (along with classmates Ben Carr and Landon Skinner), and just an outstanding leader for us. He never misses practice.

“Ever since he was a freshman, Ethan has been one of our best hitters. You can see things from a young age like hand-eye coordination and bat speed, and with Ethan, we saw it pretty early.”

Spring sports were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, meaning Walls and his classmates were cheated out of a freshman season. He played at the junior varsity level the following spring, and was used primarily behind the plate as a junior.

Prior to the 2022-2023 school year, Walls weighed approximately 165 pounds. His hard work in the weight room during the off-season now has him some 30 pounds heavier on his 6-foot-1 frame.

Walls’ baseball career came to a close on May 24 when Western Boone started strong and held on for a 7-6 victory over the Warriors in the opening round of the Class 3A Crawfordsville Sectional. Walls was one of four Danville players to finish with two base hits.

This past fall, Walls a starting safety for Danville’s football squad, finished the Warriors’ 5-7 campaign with 52 tackles.

Danville High School student athlete Ethan Walls (Submitted photo)

Q: Being a designated hitter the majority of the time, what is your focus when the opposing team is batting?

A: My focus is really just cheering on my teammates. Making sure the dugout is up and active. I feel like when teams bring energy, they play better.

Q: Do you miss catching at all, or do you like this role better?

A: I miss it just because I like playing both sides of the baseball, but whatever helps my team win. I miss being a leader on the field, and just being in that position.

Q: As one of three team captains, how do you feel you best benefit the program in that area?

A: I feel like I’m always pretty loud, and that people hear my voice (laughing). I’m always telling people what to do and how to do it.

Q: What are your plans after graduating from Danville High School?

A: I’m going to IUPUI to study motorsport engineering and mechanical engineering. I’m a big car guy. They just always catch my eye.

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