Circleville coach Brian Bigam has always been confident in Tate DeBord’s ability to swing the lumber.
But the long-time coach felt the elevated maturity and confidence that DeBord displayed this season allowed him to take his game to the next level.
“Probably the thing that sticks out to me the most about Tate this season is how much he matured and grew. I don’t say that as a negative thing, I say that as a positive thing because that’s one reason why kids should play sports,” he said. “Tate has always been able to hit, but his approach to our practice and games really made the difference and allowed him to have a great season.”
DeBord was honored for his season on Friday by being named a first-team All-Ohio in Division II.
The senior first baseman batted .449 with seven doubles, a home run and 23 RBI. DeBord slugged .551 and had an on-base percentage of .504 from the three-hole in the lineup and helped lead the Tigers to their first district championship game appearance since 2018.
“Tate had the best season out of anyone we’ve had at the plate in the five years that I’ve been back coaching the baseball team,” Bigam said. “He had a great year and is very deserving of his honor.
“Again, it goes back to his focus and approach to the game and in every at-bat that he had. He was just tremendous for us.”
DeBord is slated to take his talents to Ohio Christian University and play for Logan Elm alum Evan McDonald.
“It’s going to be a different experience for Tate, because he is going from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a big pond,” Bigam said. “College baseball is a totally different experience and game, starting with facing a lot better and more consistent level of pitching.
“You have to really grind, compete and have a different drive at the collegiate level and be able to accept when you fail and learn from it to get better. I think the progress that Tate made this season will set him up to taking that next step to having success at OCU.”