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SENIOR WEEKS: Whippets’ Small won’t get chance to put Downingtown West back on top of Ches-Mont

The most valuable scholastic baseball players are the ones who help their respective teams in a variety of ways.

One of those athletes is Downingtown West pitcher and infielder Kevin Small. The senior was going to be counted on by first-year head coach Scott Rambo to be one of the Whippets’ starting pitchers and also provide a big bat in the middle of the Downingtown West lineup. Small had a big junior season for the Whippets, followed by a very productive American Legion season last summer.

Small was on course to be one of the top players in the Ches-Mont League before the scholastic baseball season was cancelled April 9 by the COVID-19 pandemic. The delay was tough on all parties involved, but may be a little extra frustrating for the Whippets. West was hoping to get back on top of the Ches-Mont League’s National Division after Downingtown East broke the Whippets’ four-year reign last season, with the Whippets coming in second in the Ches-Mont National.

“Right now it is just very frustrating,” Small said. “We wanted to get out to a quick start and get our Ches-Mont title back before this virus hit. You cannot do anything but stay positive about things, and we were still hopeful we could have some sort of season. We have been working since December with the idea of getting our title back and bringing the title back to Downingtown West. We have continued to workout and I was hitting off a tee and just trying to stay in the best shape I could be in.”

As frustrating as the cancellation was to Small, it was equally disappointing for Rambo, who had high hopes for the Whippet star.

“We were expecting big things from Kevin this year,” Rambo said. “He gained some valuable experience as a junior and he had an excellent summer last year. He was on track to become one of our top starting pitchers, hit in the middle of our order and play first base. I felt he had the ability to be one of the top players in the Ches-Mont League this year.”

Small now turns his attention to Long Island University in the fall to further his academic and athletic career.

“I really like the environment at Long Island,” said Small, who will be joined in the LIU freshman class by Malvern Prep’s Jarod Wade. “I was looking for something different and I really liked the coaching staff and the players I met at Long Island. It was an opportunity to meet new people and see new things and I am excited about going up there.”

Small was counted on with Jake Welsch and Drew Morse to be the senior leaders of a Downingtown West team that had high hopes of winning the Ches-Mont National division and making an impact in the District 1 Class 6A playoffs and in states.

“We had very high hopes this season,” Small said. “We were hoping that we could get the chance to bring the Ches-Mont title back to Downingtown West and make the state tournament. They were all goals before the season was cancelled.”

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