This page is to highlight all of the amazing accomplishments of the Spring Sports Seniors for the 2020 school year:
This page will be updated throughout the spring and will showcase each Cardinal Ritter Senior. Check back regularly as updates will be almost daily.
Damion Horton “Hears a Who”
Damion is our next student athlete to be featured in our Spring Sports Senior Showcase. Damion is a baseball player that came into Cardinal Ritter with raw talent. Throughout these 4 years he has had the dedication to take his abilities and mold them into a college bound career.
Damion’s biggest attribute on the baseball field has always been his hitting power. Out of the 5 tools a player can have in the game, Damion has near major league exit velocity that he has now paired with his ever-improving hitting for average.
Damion showed so much upside in his first year at Cardinal Ritter. The coaching staff knew that he could eventually be a standout at the plate. He came in with plus speed and a great swing. His freshman year he worked hard and showed that his baseball trajectory could get him playing at the varsity level his sophomore year. He was quiet but that silence was not fear, it was Damion taking in all the new information that he was learning so he could begin applying that to the game of baseball.
His sophomore year he was able to show off his talents at the varsity level early. He showed promise and was able to crush a fastball. In his first series, he gave Cardinal Ritter some timely hits and drove in a few runs. This continue in the early part of the season. But like many younger hitters, he was thrown off a bit by a pitcher with a good curve ball. He had quite a few clutch hits, but had some inconsistencies that are common with young power hitters. He bounced back and forth between varsity and JV ball. However, the experience helped him in the long run as he learned to stay back longer and drive curve balls up the middle.
His junior year was a breakout season that showed highlights of his amazing talents. Damion came out hot and showed that he improved every aspect of his game including base running and fielding. Damion added a much needed dimension to the Raider offense as he could change the entire game with 1 swing of the bat. When he unleashed it was a sight to see, like the solo home run he absolutely tattooed against Chatard. The ball was gone when it left the bat and it left in a hurry.
Damion continued all year as the DH where he began forming his own hitting philosophy and eliminating swings at balls he realized were not his best pitch to hit. This approach saw him being one of the biggest impact players in the Sectionals as he came up to the plate against Danville with a two strike count a laced a 2 strike curve ball up the middle scoring 2 runs. This was the momentum swing that the Raiders used to propel them to a Sectional Championship.
Coach Scott has always been very high on Damion’s baseball attributes stating, “Like all of the senior baseball players, this is a season of what-ifs. With Damion, this could have been the season that turned him into an All-City player or more. I have always said that Damion has the pop to be able to challenge the school’s home run record. With the progress he has made, especially during this past off-season, I thought it was a real possibility this coming season. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. But the hard work he has put in is not for nothing as I know he will be able to play at the next level next year.”
“The first year of college baseball is tough as it is a year long season. We feel like the Raider program gets our players prepared for that jump. I have a good feeling that when Damion is fully immersed in baseball culture which immediately happens when you step foot on the college campus, the sky is the limit with him. He has some of the best raw power I have ever coached or played with at any level. If he continues to work hard and take in everything he learns at the plate, he will definitely be playing for the next four years. If he can build on his pitch recognition and patience at the plate, I could definitely foresee him playing past college ball into the professional ranks.”
Damion plans to play baseball in junior college for two years and play another two years at a bigger school.
His most memorable Cardinal Ritter experience was watching all of the Friday night home games with his friends.
Damion said his most memorable baseball experiences were “winning the Sectional Championship last year with my little brother in the dugout. The excitement that I felt was unmatched. I will most definitely miss the practices with my friends, laughing at stupid things Timmy says, and most of all playing some ball with my brothers.”
Damion added, “I would like to thank my parents. They have helped me get to where I am. As well as my brothers, they have helped me along this journey, especially my older brothers who showed me the love for the game. Last but not least my coaches. You guys have helped me get this far. Coming into high school I didn’t really think I would have the chance to play college ball but thanks to you guys I am. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get here. Love yall. #13out”
We are excited to keep an eye on your promising baseball career and beyond!
Kevin “Tap In” Tillery
Kevin has been a starter for the Raiders since he stepped foot onto campus in 2016. Kevin is not only a great golfer, but he is one of the senior leaders in all of Cardinal Ritter Athletics. He is visible at basically every event home and away. He is beloved by all of his classmates and teachers alike because of his positive attitude and tremendous sense of humor.
Kevin’s athletic achievements are vast but Coach Jones explained his accolades best by saying of Kevin:
“Undoubtedly the best player I have coached for the boy’s team. Kevin has a love and devotion to the game of golf like no other player I have ever coached, in any sport. Starting as freshman he would stay after practice for about 30 minutes just working on putting and shots around the green. Even in cold and wet weather in late March and early April. And that dedication to getting better has continued all four years, as well as in the off-season. I would often see him at Riverside Academy in the fall hitting balls on the range when the girl’s team was practicing. He would send me scores from practice rounds he would play over the summer between tournaments, as well as in the fall.
He got a taste of team success his freshman year when he helped the team place 2nd at Sectionals, and he placed 6th overall. At Regionals, he helped the team finish 11th overall. He learned some valuable lessons from his three senior teammates that season. His biggest individual accomplishment of the season was qualifying for All City Honors by placing in a tie for 8th place overall.
His sophomore season was an up and down season for the team, with only one other player returning from the prior year’s regional qualifiers. His biggest highlights of the season were winning our own Cardinal Ritter Classic at Eagle Creek Golf Course with a two-under par 70, one stroke off the school record low score of 69, and qualifying in the top eight for All Conference Honors. With three team members new to tournament play, the team placed 4th at Sectionals, missing the qualifying cut by 19 strokes. Kevin was one stroke off of advancing as an individual, finishing 4th overall.
That missed cut burned hot in his heart that next off season. He put even more time into improving his game over the summer and winter months. With more tournaments added to the season his junior year, he became more confident in his abilities when playing in those bigger events. He finished 4th in the CR Classic, 10th at the Angola Invitational, winning the Artesian Invitational in Martinsville, and qualifying for both All City and All Conference Honors. This season’s Sectional performance was even closer than the year before, with the team missing the qualifying cut by only three strokes. However, Kevin led the team with a 4-over par 74, which tied him for 2nd place overall, and advanced him to Regionals as an individual. At Regionals Kevin played a very solid round of golf, finishing with a 2-over par 74. However, that was one stroke off of making it into a playoff with three other players to determine the 5th and final individual State qualifier. He still finished in a tie for 9th overall out of a field of 118 golfers.
The 2020 season held very high expectations from both a team and individual accomplishments. Again with only two players returning from last year’s sectional team, we believe we had a very good shot at winning Conference, placing in the top three in the City, and a good chance to win Sectionals. We added a couple more invitational tournaments on the schedule to help harden the mental game for Kevin to prepare him for the pressures of Sectional, Regional, and the State tournament play. I will always believe that Kevin would have finished very high at the State tournament out of the 70 players that make it that far with a team, or as an individual.
Going forward I believe Kevin is going to continue to add to his accomplishments by winning more individual honors as a Division 1 golfer with the Jaguars of IUPUI. Coach Broce sees a lot of potential and improvement yet to come from Kevin’s game at the next level. Keep working hard, Kevin. You have many more successes to achieve in your future, both as a golfer and outstanding young man.”
Here is a little more information about this fine young man:
Future Academic Plans- Studying sports management at IUPUI
Future Plans- Playing golf at IUPUI with the goal of playing on the PGA tour
His most memorable Cardinal Ritter experiences were Friday night football games and going out to eat with the boys afterwards and qualifying for regionals as a team freshman year and playing in regionals again junior year
Kevin will miss walking the halls with his best friends everyday. I will also miss representing the CR on and off the golf course.
Kevin also said, “I would like to thank my parents and friends for always supporting me. I’d like to give a huge thank you to my Godfather Randy for helping me not only become a better golfer, but a better person as well. Thank you to Jack, Will, Parker, Jared, Linsey, Elena and all my close friends for making high school way more fun than I thought it would be. I would also like to thank Reed for being the best teammate I could ever ask for and Coach Jones for making me do push-ups every time I would 3- putt. Finally, I would like to thank the Cardinal RItter community for all the love and support over the last 4 years.”
Thank you Kevin for all you did! We are excited to follow your golfing career as we have faith that you will be successful for years to come!
Great job Kevin!