Anderson led Heralds to D-IV district championship apperance

Jun. 8—Saint John coach Alvin Rodriguez often tells his players that baseball is a game of "chess, not checkers."

If that's true, there is

no question that Will Anderson was Heralds Grand Maistre this spring.

In his junior year,

Anderson led the Heralds to a record of 16-6 overall mark, a Northeastern Athletic Conference title (9-0), Division IV sectional title and trip to the distrct championship game at Tri-C West.

Offensively, he hit .409 with 19 RBI and stole 14 bases.

On the mound, Anderson worked 42 innings with a 2.13 ERA, while striking out 70.

He also threw a no-hitter against Medina Christian in a 12-2 district semifinal win to reach

the final game at Tri-C West.

For all his accomplishments, Anderson has been named Ashtabula County Co-Player of the year for the 2024 season with Geneva's Hewitt Wilt, as voted on by the county coaches.

It was a special season for not only himself individually, but for a Heralds program that is continuing to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the region.

Anderson said he knew his team needed him to step up.

"I worked a lot in the offseason," he said. "I wanted to give it my best shot. I wanted to guide my team, lead by example. If they see me working, then they'll work."

As impressive as the stats were, what Anderson means to his team goes much deeper.

It's his understanding

of the game, the passion

he plays it with and the leadership that he exhibits.

"When you've played the game as long as I have, you've learned some things," he said.

As a three-year starter at shortstop and a starting pitcher, he's not afraid to be vocal when his team needs him to.

"Sometimes kids don't always know what to do or where to go," Anderson said. "If you can vocalize that before it happens, it goes a long way."

Rodriguez said Anderson brings attributes to

the table that can't be taught.

"It's the work ethic, showing up everyday, being the best teammate I've ever seen anyone be," Rodriguez said.

But what can be taught is the cerebral approach

to the game, which

Anderson exceeds even more at.

"Will has an extremely high baseball IQ," Rodriguez said. "One of the things I always want my guys to know is you have to be thinking three or four steps ahead of time.

"Baseball is chess, not checkers and Will has that. That's the thing that he brings. He makes hard plays look routine and he makes everyone around him better."

That's especially true on the mound.

"When Will's on the mound, there's a different feel to our team because of his leadership and his skill," Rodriguez said. "He's gotten better every year. I think that no-hitter in the district semis ... that was peak Will and it was phenomenal to watch."

As good as this season was though, Anderson said he's already thinking about next year and what he needs to do to keep

the Saint John program moving in the right direction.

"We just have to continue to do things in the offseason," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if guys are in the cages hitting by this fall.

"We are going to start even earlier than last year. Everyone wants it and we know we can do it."