Whether he’s on the baseball field or serving his community, Stalen Massengill has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
A senior at Rosewood High School, Massengill is an infielder and outfielder for the Eagles. He also maintains a 4.0 grade point average and serves at Rosewood First Baptist Church along with other community-oriented projects.
Massengill is this week’s Mt. Olive Pickles High School Athlete of the Week.
The Mt. Olive Pickles High School Athlete of the Week is a partnership between Curtis Media Group, Mt. Olive Pickles and Worrell Contracting to recognize local high school athletes who excel athletically, academically and through service to their community.
Each Friday morning through May 12, a local high school athlete will be recognized on the WGBR morning show as well as in a feature story on goldsborodailynews.com. The recognized athletes are chosen by the athletic department and administration from their respective high schools.
Early in Massengill’s high school baseball career, he struggled with keeping his feet disciplined at the plate. Massengill dedicated himself to the batting cage and his efforts were rewarded with a .375 batting average a year ago in his first varsity season. As of Thursday, Massengill had a .308 batting average through seven games this season.
“My freshman and sophomore years I was on JV, and I think those years really prepared me for varsity,” Massengill said. “My hitting has improved the most. My freshman and sophomore year I was kind of shaky. I was struggling with keeping my feet inside and keeping my front foot firm. Spending more time in the cage has really helped me.”
Massengill has also seen marked improvement defensively, particularly with his throwing arm. Eagles’ head coach Jason King points to Massengill’s willingness to spend extra time in the weight room and on the field as a major factor in his improvement.
“I was telling (Massengill) recently just how much his arm has improved,” King said. “He’s not only spent time in the weight room increasing his arm strength, but he really committed himself to our off-season workouts. It’s amazing to watch just the difference in his arm strength.”
In early October of 2016 Wayne County was devastated by the affects of Hurricane Matthew. After flash flooding destroyed numerous homes and businesses and left many families without power, Massengill didn’t hesitate to give back to the community he calls home. He spent long hours cleaning out the Cloth Barn on Ash Street, serving Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to linemen who worked on railroads and removing trees and other debris.
“I realized I was in a position to help, and any time I’m in a position to help anybody else, I would like to do so,” Massengill said. “I decided to get out and deliver meals to people who couldn’t get out and deliver meals to linesmen working on railroads.”
As King continues to build a program that succeeds on the field he also strives to instill an accurate depiction of success in life into the mind’s of his players. Athletes such as Massengill, who has been on mission trips to three different states and is president of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, serve as role models for younger teammates to emulate.
“Stalen shows up every day with a positive attitude,” King said. “That’s infectious to his younger teammates. He’s a guy who does things the right way and he works hard not only on the baseball field but in the classroom and in the community. He’s not shy about living his life for Christ and that’s something we talk about in our team devotions.”
Following high school Massengill plans to attend the UNC Wilmington.