P.O. Male Athlete of the Week: Cole Funk
There's no question about it - Fannett-Metal's Cole Funk breathes baseball.
When asked what his interests outside of baseball were, all he could come up with was "more baseball." He's constantly working at his craft, and this week, it's paid off. Funk did a little bit of everything, and he did it all well. He is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.
"I just come out and perform 100 percent all the time," Funk said. "Hopefully the team supports me, and I just see that I give it my all."
Funk has it in his blood. First-year head coach Jamie Funk just happens to be his father.
"I've been (coaching him) ever since he was able to pick up a baseball," Jamie said. "Both my sons I've done that for, but they know when they hit the field it's not dad and son, it's coach and player. They're a player on the field just like any other player to me."
He certainly hasn't had to be too hard on his player/son this week. Cole had a pair of wins on the mound and was hot in the batter's box.
Funk fired a one-hitter against Shalom Christian that featured nine strikeouts. Against Tussey Mountain, Funk entered the game with the Tigers trailing 9-3, but he threw three scoreless innings, allowing F-M to come from behind for a 10-9 victory.
"I like to work the corners a lot; that really gets hitters," Funk said. "I have a lot of tail on my fastball, so that gets them to hit groundballs. I also work the curveball a lot for a strike."
He helped his own cause in both games. He had a double and at least one other hit versus the Flames and was 3-for-4 with two RBIs against Tussey Mountain. In F-M's only loss this week, a 3-2 defeat by Southern Fulton, Funk had a single and a stolen base.
And that doesn't end the list of things he does well.
"He's phenomenal defensively," Jamie said. "That's one of his mainstays. He works hard at it. I try not to brag too much about it because of the father-son thing, but he's probably one of the, if not the, best shortstop I've seen in our league right now. He's most of the time lights out when the game is on the line."
Cole Funk, Fannett-Metal
Parents: Kelly and Jamie Funk
Other interests: "More baseball."
Favorite team: Atlanta Braves.
Pro athlete most admired: Freddie Freeman, because he's "just a really good hitter."
Statistics: Funk had two wins on the mound this week, striking out nine versus Shalom ... He also had a stellar week at the plate, going 3-for-4 against Tussey Mountain and knocking three hits in two other games this week ... He also had two doubles and a stolen base.