JCHS senior baseball players were honored on Friday with a pizza party, plaques, signed baseballs, and framed banners. Pictured L-R: Bradley Livorsi, Petie Pavusek, Colton Long, Head coach Pete Pavusek, Ben Howard, and Andrew Whitaker. Photo by Tim Chambers.
By Tim Chambers
Friday at noon was one of the toughest days ever for Johnson County head baseball coach Pete Pavusek. He had to say goodbye to his senior players who he had watched perform since their T-ball days. Pavusek’s son Petie was part of that senior class, so the head coach knew them well. He was expecting some great things from them during the season.
“This group of seniors meant a lot to me,” said Pavusek. “They all grew up with Petie, so I’ve been watching them play since Little League. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them play their senior year because this was a really good bunch to be around. They are all close to one another, and they were talented. I was expecting us to have a good team, especially after the way they played in their last game.”
It was also going to be the first time that the head coach had his two sons on the same team. Petie was one of the top players in the conference who will take his talents to King University next year while Peyton was a talented freshman who could likely be one of the best players ever to wear the maroon and white before he graduates.
“I wanted to see them play together one time,” said Pavusek about Petie and Peyton. So did my wife, Diane, and Nana. “But the senior players were the ones I loved being around. They were a special group that I’ll never forget. We had a lot of good pitching and hitting with this year’s team. You could sense it was going to be a special year for them. I’ll never forget this group of kids.”
For those players like Ben Howard and Bradley Livorsi, who were three-year starters, the sky was the limit. Andrew Dugger, Colton Long, and Andrew Whitaker added spice to what was already a quality bunch. Pavusek ends the year stuck on 329 victories.
The players would love to see the school board honor Pavusek by naming the field in his honor, including former left-handed pitcher Nathan Winters who was the winning pitcher versus Unaka when Pavusek won his first game as head coach.
“He deserves it,” said Winters. “Coach Pete has given most of his life to the baseball program at Johnson County. He was a really good coach to play for.”