Hopkins playing big role in Morgan’s playoff run

Published 9:36 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017

Before the first round of the Alabama Independent School Association baseball playoffs, Morgan Academy held a throwback baseball practice where players wore their little league uniforms.

Based on the pictures, it wasn’t pretty, but it did its job. Morgan Academy junior Sawyer Hopkins said the team left the practice relaxed and in good spirits and ready to take on Lakeside in the first round.

“We did a little league throwback type thing and everybody came out there with shirts too tight, pants short — it was just a good time,” Hopkins said. “Instead of pressing, everything was laid back.”

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If the Senators are going to make a run for the state championship — the team’s ultimate goal — then Hopkins will likely be playing a large role.

He’s a three-sport athlete that plays first base and pitches for the Senators. At the plate, he’s also a tough out for opposing pitchers, in the same way he’s difficult for opposing basketball teams to slow in the paint.

He loves the outdoors, and it shows when he rattles off his favorite things to do. Basketball, baseball, football, hunting, fishing — really, anything outside will do.

His favorite school subject is history and he’d like to play baseball in college. If that doesn’t work out, he’s leaning toward attending Mississippi State University and majoring in agriculture.

“I’ve always kind of liked it. I like the culture over there, it’s kind of a smaller college and my mom went there, so we’ve been around it some,” Hopkins said.

Sawyer’s parents’ names are Houston and Gina. They’ve obviously instilled a good work ethic in Hopkins because it shows in his grades. He has a 4.0 GPA.

“They used to be hard on me about grades, but ever since then I know they expect a lot out of me to do well so they don’t have to make sure I do the work,” Hopkins said.

Baseball wise, he’s focused on trying to do his part as Morgan aims for a deep playoff run. Hopkins believes if the Senators play to their full potential, they have a chance to win the state championship.

“We’ve got to continue to pitch good. Our pitching has been good all year. We’ve got to play good defense and our bats have to come around,” Hopkins said.

“They came alive last Monday against Hooper, so we’ve got to put the ball in play and see what it does.”