Hardaway senior Mykel Page didn’t spend all his time at one position for the Hawks in 2017. He did, however, come through time and time again.
Page pitched and played shortstop for the Hawks and was a major catalyst for Hardaway, which overcame an inconsistent regular season to reach the Class 4A quarterfinals. He hit .318 for the Hawks with three home runs and 17 RBIs while also pitching 70.2 innings and posting six victories, 67 strikeouts and a 1.68 ERA.
As a result of his play, Page was selected as the All-Bi-City 4A-7A Baseball Player of the Year.
Page had a number of strong showings throughout the season. He proved nearly unhittable on March 2, allowing only two hits to Columbus in a 2-0 Hardaway victory. He threw a no-hitter against Westover in one of Region 1-4A’s play-in series, plus he delivered timely hit after timely hit when the Hawks needed production from the plate.
As special as some of those in-game moments were, Page said his favorite memories involved the daily routine of taking the field with some of his closest companions.
“It’s always fun to play baseball and get out there,” Page said. “You never know if it’s your last day playing baseball or not. I was playing my hardest and having fun with all of my friends. It was great.”
Hardaway head coach Chris Gilstrap credited Page as a true leader on the team. Page was part of the Hawks’ resurgence at the end of the regular season, which saw the team find a hot streak it rode into the postseason. The Hawks won their first two playoff series before getting knocked out of the playoffs by Heritage-Catoosa.
For Page, the change in luck stemmed from everyone taking a team-first approach.
“We started playing together,” Page said. “We started working as a family. We had each other’s backs 24/7. It was just a team effort.”
Page relished being the last team from the region left in the playoffs, especially since he said so many doubted the Hawks’ abilities.
“It means a lot because nobody expected us to go that far,” Page said. “I just love haters and making them rethink what they said and look at what we’ve accomplished.”
With his high school career now over, Page is headed to Alabama Southern, a junior college in Monroeville, Ala. Page said his goal is to move to the next level, whether that means a Division I school or a Major League Baseball organization. He knows that to make it happen, he’ll have to strive and make even more improvements than he did as a Hawk.
Page made the most of his time at Hardaway, and considering everything he experienced with the team, the efforts proved more than worthwhile.
“Grinding it out with my boys at Hardaway, it was the best,” Page said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with my teammates. That’s what I treasure the most.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports