PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - Only a few hundred college players across all divisions and levels got a call to be part of the new-look Appalachian League this summer.
Princeton Senior High School graduate, Zach Powell, is one of them.
"When it first come out that they were going to do this -- I was very interested," he said. "You know, college athlete -- local."
Powell has made plenty of memories at Hunnicutt Field.
"My senior year for sure," he said, recalling his fondest memory. "I broke a record at Princeton high school for 136 strikeouts in a season."
But, this former Tiger's Appy League debut will be something he remembers for a long time.
"Just to hear Zach Powell listed and introduced to the WhistlePigs in their inaugural season -- it gives you chill bumps," Josh Wyatt, Powell's former high school coach, explained.
"A lot of people don't get to say that they've been able to do this -- I'm just blessed," Powell said.
Wyatt knows this opportunity was earned -- not given.
"He's gonna be that silent leader that's constantly here," he said. "His work ethic is second to none. and I think that's what will allow him to play at this level this summer."
In just a few short weeks, Powell has taken advantage of some top-teir instruction and has even made a few friends.
"The coaching staff here has been great and they've been working with me a lot," he said. "The guys here -- we're all baseball players especially the pitching staff -- we all just kinda click."
Another aspect of this opportunity that Powell has realized is his status as a role model for other local players, especially those with Appy league dreams of their own.
Powell has a message for all of them.
"You've gotta put in the work," he said. "It's not going to get given to you -- so just keep working and keep pushing. You'll get there -- stuff will fall into place."