By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– Sprague’s Will Hassoun does it all. Football workouts in the morning, American Legion baseball in the afternoon and often into the evening.
A lot goes into it Hassoun points to with a smile. Ibuprofen, a lot of ice and sleep Hassoun said.
But mainly heart, passion and fire as the American Legion season wraps up and football season is on the horizon.
“It’s been tough, but I’ve been doing it for a while so it’s been good,” Hassoun said.
Playing with the Withnell Dodgers, Hassoun drove in 5RBI’s in the rare one-game, nine-inning contest Friday at Scio High School. Most American Legion games nowadays have opted for more seven-inning games while just a few short years ago nine-inning games were more in the norm during the two-month season.
But for Hassoun, his 5RBI’s paced the Dodgers Friday against the Klamath Falls Falcons in Withnell’s 13-5 home victory as they enter their final American Legion series Saturday and Monday with Corvallis. A win in any of the three-games against the Marketmen locks up the Area-3 League Title.
“It was great. It’s nice to knock those guys in and contribute like I did. But it’s also nice to keep the bats warm going into this final league series hitting today,” Hassoun said. “The goal is to win (all) three for sure and keep the bats going and let our pitchers pitch. They’ve been doing great. We just got to help them out, score some runs…that’s how you win ball games.”
Hassoun has seen a lot of action around the diamond during the 40 games that Withnell has played this Summer, having caught and played Right Field during Friday’s non-league game. He points to a correlation between catching and playing Quarterback as he looks to be one of the people contending for the QB1 position this Fall for the Olympians with the recent graduation of Logan Smith.
Having some defensive experience at safety, that understanding of what defenses will aid him if he’s the one tabbed as the next starting Quarterback Week 1 against Liberty on the road.
“It’s definitely big filling in for Logan, we’ll be locked in when the season arrives. But yeah I’m ready for it, it’ll be good,” Hassoun starts. “I’ve been doing it for a while now, I’ve been playing both sides (in football) since I was little. I’ve just been picking up cues from myself as well as a quarterback, so it’ll be good. I’ll be ready.
“Logan has been awesome for me just to learn from. I’ve picked up so many little things from him and (Head) Coach (Jay) Minyard and I’ll get to show it off this season.”
As for now, it’s back to the diamond for a 2pm doubleheader with Corvallis at Scio High School. The American Legion Triple-A Playoffs start July 22 and conclude July 27 in Roseburg with a Play-In Round on July 21 to get into the double-elimination tournament.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald