All-County Baseball: Carson’s Daugherty is Player of Year
By Ronnie Gallagher
CHINA GROVE — Carson coach Chris Cauble was asked to talk about this year’s Rowan County Player of the Year John Daugherty and all he wanted to talk about was next year — and the year after that.
“His potential is amazing,” Cauble said. “And he still hasn’t reached it.”
That’s a scary thought, especially after the way Daugherty burst onto the high school scene this season in Carson’s 24-4 season.
No one was talking about Daugherty when the season began. He was on everyone’s mind when it ended. The coaches in the North Piedmont Conference even made him the Player of the Year.
“Honestly, I questioned whether I’d do that well,” the humble Daugherty said. “I just worked on my hitting, pitching and defense.”
A .400 batting average. An 8-1 pitching record. A .500 on-base percentage.
If Cauble needed a pitching performance in a must-win situation, Daugherty got it. If Cauble needed a big hit to win the game, Daugherty got it. For example, he hadn’t hit a home run all season until it was needed the most — to win a North Piedmont Conference tournament game against West Rowan.
“He hit the ball so well, I had to play him somewhere,” Cauble said. “He’s as intense as anyone I’ve coached. As far as a pure competitor, he’s the one I want out there.”
Daugherty started playing in T-ball, through middle school and was on jayvee for two years at Carson. He credits Cauble for much of his success.
“He has helped me a lot,” Daugherty said. “Best coach I’ve ever had, honestly. He’s there when I need anything.”
Cauble’s eyes light up when thinking of what his star can be as a senior.
“He’s 6-foot-3 and long and lanky and there is so much more in his body,” Cauble said. His dad looks like a linebacker for the Panthers so I know he’ll get thicker.”
For the record, Daugherty said, his dad stands 6-5, 275. He’s the one who got his son into the Rowan Little League and now the sky’s the limit.
“John’s playing big Legion this summer to play against the better talent,” Cauble said.
Daugherty has played basketball but after this spring it’s quite obvious where he should be — on the diamond.
“Baseball is my sport,” he said.
A sport that could make Daugherty’s name known across the state in the future.