Renner's Austin Henry will pitch for Wichita State in College
Austin Henry might be proof that you are a product of your environment.
It's not a coincidence that his dad is former Northern State pitcher Nate Henry.
"My dad was always teaching me to just throw out in our front yard. He taught me the mechanics at a young age and they kind of stuck. And then, just throughout the years, he taught me not to get too ruffled when I'm getting lit up or when stuff is not going my way because there is always another day. There's always another day when your stuff can be better," Austin says.
And it doesn't hurt that Austin's stuff is some of the fastest and hardest in South Dakota.
"It was about sixth grade where I was pitching and I hit one of my friends in the arm and it broke his arm. And I'm like, jeepers." Henry says.
The Dell Rapids junior has been racking up strikeouts for a Renner Legion team that's been coached by former professional pitcher Jack Van Leur and current South Dakota State Jackrabbit hurler Tyler Olmstead.
"He compares to a lot of our guys. He has good stuff. His fastball has high spin rate. That's effective, especially at this level, he can blow fastballs by kids. And his off speed he's working on but his curve ball is pretty good. He doesn't look like a 17-year old kid," Renner Head Coach Tyler Olmstead says.
That helped Austin get the attention of a college program rich in tradition, the Wichita State Shockers.
"I went to a prospect camp in Wichita and then they offered me that night. And I was extremely, extremely blessed for that. Blessed for the coaching staff to take a chance on me. And I thought I'd commit and take a chance on them. I was shocked, get the pun there, but yeah, it was a good deal," Henry says.
"He looks like he's ready to play in college but, again, he has two years so it's going to be scary what he can do," Olmstead says.
Until then Henry wants to do something he's not used to doing on the mound.
"Just kind of live it up right now in South Dakota with my team. Hopefully we can get a state tournament this year, that's what our eyes are on," Austin says.
In Renner, Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.