West Mifflin catcher Howard looks to open eyes at baseball camp
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Dan Howard doesn't necessarily want to make a name for himself.
But he's all for somebody to actually know his name.
The West Mifflin rising senior catcher is hoping next month's Coastal Carolina satellite camp at Washington & Jefferson will accomplish just that.
For the second consecutive year, one of the most successful college baseball teams over the past decade, Coastal Carolina, is coming north in hopes to find a diamond in the rough.
Howard just might fit that description.
“Danny can be that kid,” said former West Mifflin assistant coach Jeff Rubinsak, one of the coordinators of the camp. “It is the best thing for kids like Danny, who really isn't a big name. This is his chance to prove himself whether for D-I, D-II or D-III. You never know. With this many college coaches coming, he will fit in somewhere.”
As of now, Howard fits in nowhere, and that's even after coming off a season in which he led West Mifflin in five offensive categories and helped the Titans to a section title and their first state playoff appearance.
“It's definitely been a problem for me,” Howard said of getting noticed by colleges. “I am having a little trouble getting colleges interested so I am doing this to try to get my name out there. Just get a little bit of recognition and maybe get a couple colleges interested.”
Howard hit .441 with 26 hits, six doubles, three home runs and 43 total bases for the Titans this spring. He has followed that up during the summer batting .346 with 17 RBIs for West Mifflin's undefeated American Legion team that qualified for the Region 6 tournament starting this weekend.
Howard, who also wrestles for West Mifflin, struggled as a sophomore and in the fall, which kept him off the college radar.
“Somebody who showed more potential earlier may have given the coaches a little bit more of a heads up,” Howard said. “For me, I kind of came out of nowhere. Even my teammates would say who would've guessed that I would've been leading the team in hitting?”
While Howard will be looking for a chance, 2014 Daily News Player of the Year Brandon Donovan will have a chance to prove that his junior year at Steel Valley wasn't a fluke. He hit .478 and went 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
“That is what makes this camp so good,” Rubinsak said. “Everybody has a chance to prove what they can do.”
Coastal Carolina typically holds camps only in the south, but enjoyed such success last year at West Mifflin's baseball complex (116 participants from seven states) that they decided to come back.
There are expected to be more than a dozen schools represented at W&J on Aug. 9 along with some local coaches such as Penn State Greater Allegheny's Jim Chester, South Park's Steve Bucci and Daily News League commissioner Nick Donato.
“They have found people before, so why not now?” Rubinsak said.
Montour's Anthony Marks is one of four from Pennsylvania on the Chanticleers roster. Brooks Marzka, who plays for Quinn Construction in the Daily News League, led Coastal Carolina in hits and home runs in 1999-2000.
“You don't see these kind of camps around this area,” Rubinsak said.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates, Worley edge Brewers, 1-0, move to cusp of playoffs
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Machine operator avoids serious injuries in accident in North Huntingdon
- York man, 21, accused of assaulting Indiana Borough police officer
- Rescuers carry injured person up hillside near Phipps Conservatory
- Person rescued from McKees Rocks fire
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Police say rifle carried by suspect in state trooper ambush found
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world in Holdzkom
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Water service restored to CMU campus