Athlete of the Week: Hunter Carey
For four years, senior Hunter Carey has played varsity baseball at PEA. Now in his final season donning Big Red colors, he is determined to continue Exeter’s winning tradition after captaining the team for two years.
Baseball has always been a part of Carey’s life. “I don’t ever remember starting to play baseball. My dad told me that I’ve carried a bat around with me since I could walk,” Carey said.
Even after all the years of hard work, Carey’s love for the sport has never diminished. “I’ve played it my entire life and hope to play it for as long as my talent allows me,” he said.
Not only does Carey love the sport, but he is also a fierce competitor. Unlike many other kids, “I wasn’t big into watching sports; I would much rather be playing them,” Carey said. Instead of sitting on the couch watching others play, Carey continued to work on his skills. Throughout his career, Carey has been his own biggest critic. “I’d say my biggest motivator is my competitiveness. I challenged myself growing up to be the best player on the field whenever I played,” he said.
Carey was raised near Phillips Exeter Academy, but it never occurred to him that he would become a student here at PEA. “Growing up, I really knew nothing about Exeter. Even though I lived only ten minutes away, I had only driven through campus and didn’t really see myself playing here until I applied,” he said.
But after enrolling at the Academy, Carey was immediately put on the varsity baseball roster and has continued to develop over the years as a Big Red player.
On the field, Carey is a well-rounded player. He’s a great pitcher, a powerful hitter, and is able to play almost any position on the field. When asked what his favorite position was, he responded, “I really don’t have a favorite position. As long as I’m on the field, I’m happy.” However, he has recently developed a newfound love for toeing the rubber and pitching.
“I love the control of the game you have as a pitcher. The game can start and stop when you want it to,” Carey said.
Carey began pitching his lower year at Exeter, and his development is shown through his success on the mound. So far, Carey’s senior season has been spectacular; he has recorded two wins in his two starts and has suffered no losses. In the fourteen innings he has pitched this season, he has given up no earned runs and has struck out ten batters. He also earned a save when he closed out a tight 3-1 win against Governors.
Against Carey, the opposing team’s batting average so far this year has been a mere .217. Carey challenges hitters with his velocity. Carey is a power pitcher, blowing batters away with his fastball in the mid 80 miles per hour range, but to keep batters off balance, he also has a great curveball in his repertoire, which he uses to keep hitters guessing what pitch will come next.
Last Saturday, Carey’s dominant performance sealed a win for Big Red against Worcester at Exeter. Because of field conditions on the varsity field, the two teams were forced to play on the JV baseball diamond, but Carey was did not falter under the change in the usual scenery. Instead, the captain stepped up and threw a complete game shutout with six strikeouts to give Exeter a 3-0 win.
Not only is Carey an excellent pitcher, but he is also a powerful offensive force at the plate. With his huge 6’4”, 207-pound frame, Carey generates plenty of speed and power with his bat.
In Exeter’s six games this season, Carey has hit two doubles, driven in one run, stolen a base and also has scored four runs for Big Red. His raw power and plate coverage impresses anyone who sees him taking cuts in the box.
Senior Matt Girard has gotten to know his captain well, as he is Carey’s batterymate behind the plate. “Hunter really pays attention to detail,” Girard said. “I know that in his head, he wants to get everything right so that he performs well, whether it’s at the plate concentrating on how he’s swinging or working on snapping off his curveball. What makes him so good is that he knows what he has to get right to play well.”
Despite his extreme competitiveness, Carey also brings a fun attitude to the team, and his great vibe rubs off on the team. “What Hunter brings is a balance between fun and the serious desire to win,” Girard said.
On the field, Carey is also a role model for younger players who are newcomers to the varsity team. This year, several preps were chosen for Exeter’s top roster. Despite the age difference between the preps and their senior captain, Carey encourages the young players to continue working hard.
“Having a captain like Hunter on the team is great,” prep JT Thompson said. “His work ethic and will to win on the field inspire me to work harder. He leads by example and helps me and the other young kids on the team to stay comfortable.” Thompson also noted his great respect for Carey, saying, “He is a dominating force who can win games with his arm and with his bat.”
In the fall, Carey also captained varsity football and was a key player on Big Red’s undefeated team, playing on both sides of the ball as well as taking punting and kicking duties. There is no doubt that his will to win and fierce competitive nature that he learned from baseball translates into his football game.
Although he garnered many achievements on the football field, Carey said, “Baseball is definitely my number one sport. I started playing football in eighth grade but only took it seriously when I came here.”
After graduating from PEA, Carey looks forward to taking his success on the baseball diamond to Trinity College. Meanwhile, he will remain dedicated to finishing off his Exeter career with a great season. Big Red baseball is now 4-2 (2-2 in league), and Carey and his teammates will be looking forward to hosting Cushing on Saturday.