Gurganus headed to Chowan

Published 6:07 pm Friday, May 25, 2012

Riverside’s Will Gurganus (front row, center) signs a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Chowan University. Gurganus is accompanied by his father Ken (front row, left) and mother Renee (front row, right) as well as (back row, from left) sister Micah, Riverside baseball coach Hank Tice, principal Clay Wagner and assistant baseball coach Brian Swift. (Contributed Photo)

WILLIAMSTON — During his three-year tenure on the Riverside varsity baseball team Will Gurganus has been a key contributor to the Knights’ winning ways, a trend he hopes continues next year as a member of the Div. II Chowan University Hawks.
Gurganus, who is set to graduate Riverside this year, has accepted an academic scholarship and signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Chowan next season and Knights’ coach Hank Tice said the Hawks got one heck-of-a player.
“He’s just so consistent. He’s a guy that you know every game what you’re getting,” Tice said. “He has the ability to turn a single into a double and his approach was the same everyday: very professional. He plays the game the right way.”
Tice said he was happy to see Gurganus get a chance to extend his playing career.
“It’s great because you want to see guys like him get rewarded for their hard work,” Tice said. “I think the sky is the limit for him. He’s such a great athlete … He had an outstanding three years with us.”
As a sophomore Gurganus broke on to the scene as a sweet-swinging shortstop/pitcher on the Williamston Tigers before the school consolidated with Jamesville to form Riverside his junior year. After the merger, the speedy Gurganus shifted to centerfield and continued to make plays at his new position while also being a key producer in the Knights’ batting order.
With a lean 6-1 frame, Gurganus has the athleticism to play nearly anywhere on the field, however, after watching him play the six spot at the state games Chowan decided that is where they would like to play him.
“They saw Will at the state games his sophomore year and he was probably one of the best shortstops in this area,” Tice said.
Tice said Gurganus is a true competitor and is willing to do whatever his new coaching staff asks of him.
“He just wants to play,” Tice said. “Will has always been a team-first guy. He understands that being a freshman he is going to have to go there and out-work everybody and I know that won’t be a problem for him.”
Gurganus’ versatility isn’t just limited to the defensive side of the field as he has spent time as a table setter as well as in the three spot for the Knights. Tice said he has the talent and capability to be any kind of hitter he wants to be.
“He’s a guy you want on base because of his ability to run,” Tice said. “Going into his freshman year I’m not sure what he will be but I think he can go there and put up some offensive numbers. He has to get a little stronger, they really want to add about 25 to 30 pounds to his body. If they can do that he can be a scary baseball player.”