MADISON, Fla. (WTXL) — Madison County's Kyler Richie knows what hard work is. He's had to prove himself throughout his baseball career, and it's paid off. As Richie begins his final season as a Cowboy, that work ethic isn't going anywhere, and he's hoping to make this final year his best one yet.
"I've always been the little guy, so we always had to work a little bit harder than everybody else," said Richie of how hard he's worked on his craft.
"He always wanted to play at the next level," said Madison County head baseball coach Jason Fletcher. "He doesn't always pass the eye test, so he knew if he was going to go, it was going to be a product of work."
The work worked. Richie will play baseball for Philander Smith College, and now he can focus on his senior year with the Cowboys.
"He's one of our team captains, always been a leader," said Fletcher. "He understands the game. He has a really high baseball IQ. We wouldn't be as good as we are without him, that's for sure."
An IQ that's reflected in the books. As a dual enrolled student, Richie has a 4.44 GPA.
"We were taught at a young age it was student before athlete, so we always focus on the classroom first, so it made it easier out here."
For Richie, books and baseball, have always gone hand in hand.
"He's one of those kids, if you had nine of them, you could do a lot," said Fletcher.
"You have to be able to understand the little things to understand the little things out here," added Richie.
It's doing those little things that have led him to the big things.
"You tell them all the time if you put in the work, if you keep grinding, if you do everything you're supposed to do, then good things are going to happen," said Fletcher. "Everything he's getting is a product of his work in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the baseball field. It's really, really awesome."
A little guy, that's gotten big results. Richie said he wants to major in biology, with the end goal of getting into sports medicine.