Junior Ethan Hunt prays over his team before a game. Hunt said he has been blessed by God to have the people he has in his life and commit as a junior. (Photo provided by Ethan Hunt.)
Junior Ethan Hunt prays over his team before a game. Hunt said he has been blessed by God to have the people he has in his life and commit as a junior. (Photo provided by Ethan Hunt.)
Krista Fleming

Pitch perfect

Junior commits to University of Houston

It started with T-ball games. 

His parents had always loved sports, so at 5 years old, Ethan Hunt learned to bat, pitch and run. T-ball turned to baseball and football, and even though he was constantly limping after particularly bad hits to his legs, Hunt’s love for the game never dwindled. 

Now a junior, Hunt talked to numerous Division 1 schools and committed to the University of Houston at the D1 level for its “warm feeling of coming home.” 

“[Baseball] is a very mentally tough sport,” Hunt said. “When times get tough, it’s hard not to get too down on myself, but I just try to keep going. Even the best players fail three out of 10 times; I have to remind myself of that.”

Playing both baseball and football in middle school, Hunt got hit in his legs and was never fully able to recover. He would limp and be in pain for days. Hunt was diagnosed with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a joint condition in which a segment of bone and cartilage separates from the rest of the bone. It affects fewer than 1% of people. In his seventh grade year, Hunt underwent surgery. 

“[The recovery process] was really rough,” Hunt said. “I had to relearn all the basics — how to walk with an actual bone, then how to jump, squat [and] run.”

Hunt pitches during a game against Coppell. The hawks are second in district and Coppell is seventh. (Photo provided by Ethan Hunt.)

Recovery took approximately a year and a half. When he was able to play again, Hunt said he put his all into getting back to the level of skill that he had before. In his freshman year, Hunt and his friend, now-junior pitcher Marcos Paz, made the varsity baseball team. 

“His work ethic [sets him apart,]” Paz said. “He is always working to do more [and] asking how he can improve. Just knowing that he’s putting everything he has into baseball makes me want to give back.”

At the end of last year, former head coach Steve Stone retired and Corey Farra took over the role this season. The team is currently second in the district, with a 5-2 record. Farra said Hunt has helped the team excel by taking on more responsibilities. 

“He wants to be a part of this program, but he also wants to help it,” Farra said. “He wants to buy into this culture, and he’s truly serious about it all. There are so many kids who just want to ‘make’ the varsity team — who just want the jersey, [but] Ethan walked into this year knowing he had a jersey because he believed in himself.”

Hunt said it has always been his dream to commit to a Division 1 school, but he never imagined he could ever make it into one. He plans to play baseball in college and said he hopes to play professionally. 

“Being out of baseball made me realize how much I loved it,” Hunt said. “Even now, it makes me work harder. I know what it is [like] to not be on the field, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stay there this time.”

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