By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
TRUSSVILLE — A day after Hewitt-Trussville’s own Carson Skipper was selected in the 2022 Major League Baseball draft by the Colorado Rockies, the Auburn left-hander talked about coming up as a Husky baseball player, being drafted, and how thankful he is to the people of Trussville for always staying in his corner.
Q: You’re a Hewitt-Trussville product. How did playing for the Huskies prepare you for Auburn?
Skipper: Honestly, anything we went through with coach (Jeff) Mauldin was probably tougher than what we went through at Auburn, physically. But the mental toughness developed through Hewitt led me to be sharper and more hardened than I would have been if it wasn’t for Hewitt. Coach Mauldin and Schrupp and all the other coaches at Hewitt were nothing less than awesome coaches and staff members who helped instill hard work and dedication on everybody that has ever played for them.
Q: What is the one thing that most people don’t understand about how difficult it is to play baseball at a D1 and potentially pro level?
Skipper: In high school you have two to three guys that are the best on each team. Transitioning to D1, those best players on each high school team are the whole lineup. It’s a big jump but when you take that leap it makes you look back and recognize the hard work you’ve put in to get to that point of your life.
Q: How did you learn you’d been drafted? And what was your reaction?
Skipper: I found out from the area scout. He called me before I found out on the tv or online. He called me and told me congratulations and as he was telling me it popped up on the TV. It was a moment unlike any other honestly. It was such a shock and just a surreal moment that was such an awesome moment to celebrate with my family.
Q: You’ve graduated from Auburn, but you do have another year of eligibility left due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Is there a chance you’ll head back to the Plains?
Skipper: I do not see myself returning to Auburn to play, but Auburn will always run in my blood so I will for sure be back to Auburn to see the coaches and staff and all my teammates.
Q: You went from a starter at Auburn to kind of the anchor in middle relief for the Tigers … how does your mindset change from starting to relieving?
Skipper: As a starter you’re always thinking about trying to get through a lineup two or three times, but as a reliever it’s come in and just get the first guy out and go from there.
Q: The last game I saw you throw, you did start: against Kentucky in the SEC tournament. You threw seven strikeouts and allowed one hit and one walk over three innings. Unfortunately for you guys, the Wildcats end up winning 3-1, but what was it like to start in those three innings and know you’d given Auburn a chance to win?
Skipper: It was a great feeling to get a chance to start and get the team started on a good note. Going into that start I was going in as a reliever role but only to start the game, so the thought process for me was the same thing, just go get the first guy.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to the folks back in Trussville who have watched you grow through the years as a person and player?
Skipper: Thank you to everybody who has been there for me and supported me through my journey and career from high school to now. It has been an amazing journey and I have had a great support system and foundation to lean on. I can’t thank my family enough for all they have done for me. They have truly been my rock from Little League to now.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited slightly for style and punctuation.