Foust’s talents, character help him climb to top in Panther baseball

Sophomore Slater Foust started for the Liberty Hill Panther baseball team against Llano on Tuesday night in the Panthers’ 4-3 victory. The win gave the Panthers a District Championship. This is Foust first season on the varsity team and he is already becoming a strong leader. (Kathy Canady Photo)

Sophomore Slater Foust started for the Liberty Hill Panther baseball team against Llano on Tuesday night in the Panthers’ 4-3 victory. The win gave the Panthers a District Championship. This is Foust first season on the varsity team and he is already becoming a strong leader. (Kathy Canady Photo)

By Taylor Grafft

In his first year on the varsity team, sophomore Slater Foust has embraced his role on the Liberty Hill Panthers Baseball team and run with it. It’s not often that a sophomore player has so much success on a team full of experienced seniors, but Foust’s talents and high character have helped him climb to the top.

Foust has earned that success through countless hours of dedication on the practice field and the willingness to be the best at everything he does.

“I work very hard at baseball,” said Foust. “When I am practicing I give it my best and don’t do it half way. I try and practice how I play all the time.”

Foust arrived in Liberty Hill in October 2012 with his family from East View High School in Georgetown. Foust describes the decision to move as the best possible decision for himself as a person and for his sports career.

At East View, Foust would have had to give up playing basketball and football, the sports he played in middle school, and put all his focus on baseball. Playing at Liberty Hill gave him the opportunity to play all three.

Foust’s father played those three sports for Liberty Hill from 1965-1969 and playing those sports was important to Foust. Foust has been playing baseball since he was five years old and could pick up a glove and swing a bat. He started playing in Georgetown where he played little league and has had a large support of family members with him every step of the way.

“My dad played baseball when he was young and has pushed me to be the best I can be,” Foust said. “My mom and sister have missed very few of my games ever since tee-ball. Everything that I have done is with the help of my family. My grandpa goes to every game he can make and doesn’t stop cheering me on. My sister loves to be there for me, and she is my idol. She has been through a lot in life and is still beautiful, smart and healthy. I can’t forget about my parents. They provide me with the best supplies and tools to be the best at everything I can be. I would never trade them for the world and I love them so much. But most of all I would thank the Lord. He has blessed me with everything I have and everything I could wish for. He is my Lord and savior and I praise him till the end.”

While growing up, baseball has remained a focal point in Foust’s life and something that he is always able to rely on.

“Baseball has changed my life,” said Foust. “Without baseball I don’t know where I would be. When I’m having a bad day all I have to do is think about getting to play the best sport on earth at the end of the day. It picks my spirit up and makes me count down the hours till I get out on the field. Baseball holds a big spot in my life.”

Foust played on the Junior Varsity Purple team in his freshman year at Liberty Hill and helped lead that team to a District Title. Foust then made the varsity team this season and has since taken the starting third basemen spot and made the pitching rotation in district.

“To play third you have to be quick on your feet and not be afraid of the ball,” Foust said. “They don’t call it the hot corner for nothing. Pitching is more of a fundamental position that takes repetition and practice to be successful. I have gone to pitching and hitting lessons ever since I was seven.”

Foust credits a lot of his success this season to the three Liberty Hill coaches who have used their expert knowledge and love of the game.

“Being out on the field with three of my favorite coaches who love the game of baseball almost as much as I do is amazing,” Foust said. “The skill and knowledge that I have gained from (Coach Mike) Kristan, (Coach Heath) Hohmann and (Coach Ryan) Revere is priceless.”

Foust has hit above .400 at the plate so far this season and will be a key figure in how well and how far the Panthers go in the post season. Foust has also been an excellent pitcher for the Panthers. He even threw a no-hitter against Lampasas on March 25, in five innings pitched and struck out six batters on his way to a win.

“My biggest strength would be my work ethic,” Foust said. “I love to get outside with a friend and throw the ball or have a serious session in the cages either by myself hitting off the tee or being at a practice hitting live pitching.”

Foust also plays basketball for Liberty Hill in the fall. He says that Coach Barry Boren and Coach Blake Boren were the reason he decided to play basketball and he doesn’t regret that decision one bit.

“When I first came to Liberty Hill I wasn’t going to play basketball, but after meeting Coach Boren and Coach Blake Boren I thought I would give it a shot,” Foust said. “It happened to be one of the greatest decisions I could have possibly ever made. Playing basketball keeps me in great shape. (The coaches) are great role models and help prepare me physically for baseball season.”

This season has been a blast, according to Foust. He says that part of his success has been from the ability to get along with his teammates and be surrounded by experienced veterans.

“We have a lot of seniors this year that are great players and the whole team is full of experience and skill,” Foust said. “The whole team is just a blast to be with and play with. We all get along very well and have a great time playing with each other and make each other better players.”

Foust and his teammates have high expectations and goals for the post season, but they’re confident that they have the talent and determination to win state.

“My main goal for the team will be to shock everyone and take home the state championship,” Foust said. “Who would ever think Liberty Hill, a small team 30 minutes outside of Austin would scrape together a talented team with two freshmen, two sophomores and the rest upperclassmen and would win a state baseball championship? Not a huge chance of that. But to be honest, if we play up to our ability I have no doubt in the world that we can win it all.”