Beverly – Fort Fry’s baseball team started 11-1 this spring, and no one has enjoyed the Cadets’ success more than Dawson Layton.
Layton, who earned the win in Fort Fry’s 6-3 win over Williamstown Friday, is in his third year in the Cadet Corps.
However, this was by far the most successful spring Fort Frye had in Layton’s career.
Finally, hard work pays off. Layton said. The countless hours and days here doing what you love, it pays off in the end and it really shows with our record.
“We come in here, we work hard and we get out there. We have guys that get extra time in the cages early before games. It’s come a long way.”
Leighton is part of a seven-man senior class who did not play their senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two seasons haven’t produced the win-loss results the Cadets would have liked, but it all came together during the early part of the 2023 season.
“We work well as a team,” said Fort Frye head coach Trey Engle, who has taken charge of the Layton program for the first year. “The most important thing I keep preaching is that you don’t forget who you are. These kids have done a really good job and they feel good about it. They know what’s expected of them. They want that for each other.”
Fort Frye baseball is a big part of the Layton family tree — Dawson had three older brothers who played on the program in Drew, Derek, and Devin. Also, his father, Ryan, used to be on the baseball coaching staff at Fort Frye before switching to softball, where Dawson’s sister Denay plays.
“We have an indoor facility at home with bat cages and stuff,” said Dawson Layton.
“We actually have our own baseball field at home that my dad built for us. It was nice to be able to do that practice and really get to know the game at such a young age.”
Engel loves having Layton on his team.
“It’s one of my favourites,” Engel said. “Dawson keeps the team together. He knows what’s going on throughout the game.”
A powerful and charismatic fielder, Leighton also bats at front for the Cadets. He collected two hits, including a double, and scored a run against Williamstown.
“I see it well now,” Layton said. Coach Engel really told me, “Middle butt,” he thought. Being left-handed, I have a fair amount of speed to hit a few things. If I hit that really late and get some base hits, let my guys behind me clean me up.”
Layton has 21 hits in 35 at-bats this season for a . 600 average. He hit four doubles and four triples and drove in 11 runs batted in. Leighton walked four times and struck out only once.
Jordan Holland is the sports editor for the Marietta Times. He can be contacted at [email protected].