Athlete Spotlight: James Wood High School baseball player Joel Smith

59114cfa86581.imageBy WALT MOODY | The Winchester Star

James Wood High School 18-year-old senior

Sport: Baseball. Position: Shortstop, pitcher.

Parents: Jamie and Annette Smith.

Hometown: Winchester.

Nickname: My family calls me “Bear.” It’s just a family nickname.

What do you love about baseball: I just love how it’s a competitive sport and you can make friends along the way.

Most memorable moment in baseball: My freshman year I pitched a no-hitter [for the JV team]. ... I didn’t know. Nobody was telling me because of the superstition about mentioning it. It was a seven-inning game.

Most embarrassing moment in baseball: I was up to bat this year and a pitch was coming at me. I ducked down and it hit right off my bat and popped up right to the catcher.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Derek Jeter, he’s just a respectful player and I loved the way he played the game. With me being a shortstop and watching him play, he makes it look easy; My grandma Linda, I did not get to meet her. She passed away before I was born and Bryce Harper because he made it to the major leagues as a young player and he showed that age doesn’t really matter if you’ve got the skill and the heart for the game.

Food you can’t live without and why: Bacon cheeseburgers. I just think they’re delicious. They’re my weakness. I like Five Guys.

Favorite superhero: Captain America because he’s American and he’s a strong fellow.

Favorite teacher: Mrs. [Julie] Rathman. She teaches English. She’s very generous and kind. If you need help, she’ll be there to help you and guide you on the right track.

Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter

Favorite team: Boston Red Sox

Favorite movie: Major League

Favorite TV show: “The Office”

Favorite song: Anything that pumps me up

Favorite ice cream flavor: Strawberry. I like Pack’s.

Plans after high school: To continue my education at Shenandoah University and study criminal justice. My dad has been a police officer. Watching him go through it, I’ve just had an interest in it. I just want to protect the law and help people.

— Compiled by Walt Moody