Pethan inks baseball letter of intent with Westminster College

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Hunter Pethan recently signed a baseball letter of intent with Westminster College in Fulton. Pethan is a three-year letterwinner in baseball for Boonville. On hand during the signing were (front row, left to right) Chas Pethan, Hunter Pethan and Matt Pethan. (back row, left to right) Boonville Athletic Director Chris Shikles, hitting coach Eric Rhorer, Boonville baseball coach Adam Arnette and  Boonville High School Principal Tim Edwards.

As a player, there just comes a point in time when you just know that school is the right fit for you.

For Boonville senior Hunter Pethan, that came after looking for a campus close to home, but also far enough to get away.

Pethan and members of his family and baseball teammates gathered in the media center at Boonville High School last Monday to find out just exactly where the senior standout will play for the next four years.

As it turned out, Pethan will attend Westminster College in Fulton to play for the Blue Jays-a Division III School and a member of the SLIAC conference.

“After meeting the coaching staff and head coach Zach Bishop I instantly knew it was the choice for me,” Pethan said.

Before choosing Westminster, Pethan said he was also looking at Quincy University, McKendree University and Spalding University.

Although Pethan missed his entire junior season due to COVID-19, Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette said Hunter has worked hard to get to where he’s at. 

“I am very proud of him for earning the opportunity to play at the next level,” Arnette said. “He leads by example and is not afraid to put in extra time in order to accomplish his goals. His dedication and work ethic have gotten him to this point and will help him continue to be successful at Westminster.”

Pethan had success when given the opportunity as a sophomore, albeit it was only six games.  But even then Pethan proved that he could play at a higher level after going 1 for 2 with three runs scored.

This season, Arnette said Pethan has a real good shot to play in the outfield, if not start, for the Pirates in the season opener on Friday, March 19 against the Fulton Hornets at Twillman field in Harley park. 

Pethan said he will play the same position at Westminster but just hopes to set a staple as a stand out outfielder in his first few years at the college.

As for his ambitions in the long term, Pethan said he would like to break the stole base record at Westminster, and also become a captain while playing with the team.

With 10 years of traveling from state to state and playing anywhere around 60 games a year, Pethan said that will probably be the highlight of his career. “I think having the opportunity to play baseball all across the nation from the Colorado World Series to Florida is probably the highlight of my career so far,” Pethan said. 

With three varsity letters and a two year captain, Pethan said he is most thankful for all of his coaches along the years and coach Arnette, who has looked for him to be a leader since he joined the baseball program.

“Regardless of what my role was, coach Arnette wanted me to always believe in myself when things get tough,” Pethan said. “Jalen Poindexter and Eric Rhorer were also big keys in my development as a player as they made me realize the dedication and hard work it would take to compete at the next level. I also have spent many hours with both coaches and created strong bonds with them.”

Of course Pethan said there is still room for improvement. He said from what he’s learned, you can always improve on anything so that would mean every aspect of his play. 

Although starting as a freshman at Westminster would be a major goal fulfilled, Pethan said he owes it all to his dad, Matt, who has always been there for extra practice or late night hitting sessions, but also the head director of GBA, Seth Vonbehren, who really opened his eyes and showed him his future potential in college athletics.

“People ask what game or games that have stood out in my career and I tell them I don’t really remember any specific game,” Pethan said. “I like to take the good and the bad from every game and improve on my points for future use.”