The hard-hitting senior catcher, an All-Main Line baseball selection as a sophomore, is batting over .500 with 13 RBIs after the Fords’ first eight games this season, helping Haverford School to a 7-1 start. Off the field, Genther participates in the Character Mentorship program, Signet Society, and the tour guide program at Haverford School. His twin brother, Zach, plays basketball for the Fords. Next fall, Eric Genther will play baseball for the University of Rhode Island. Haverford School baseball head coach Bob Castell said, “I believe Eric’s tenacity is one of his strongest attributes. He’s always pushing himself and the guys around him to compete at a high level. He developed his defensive skills at an early age and now has worked to get bigger and stronger to become a threat at the plate. Having a twin brother like Zach constantly challenging him surely played a role in his competitiveness growing up.”
Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?
A: Besides working a lot to refine my swing path this offseason, one of the biggest things that I focused on was having a strong mental approach at the plate. Having an idea of what I am trying to do each time I step in the box instead of just going up there and taking wild swings has been incredibly helpful for me. Having a good approach is really important for my success and is often overlooked when hitting in my opinion.
Q: Tell us a little about your baseball training during this past COVID pandemic year, the biggest challenges you faced as a baseball player, and how you dealt with those challenges.
A: Training during COVID was definitely tough at first, but since baseball is an outdoor sport where you can work on things individually I was able to find local cages and fields that stayed open, and spent most of my free time at those places with a couple teammates. The biggest challenge was definitely the recruiting aspect of the game. With our junior season canceled and summer events being much different than usual, it was harder to get in front of coaches. I was lucky enough that it worked out for me in the end.
Q: Tell us a little about your role as a catcher in working with your pitcher, knowing the opposing hitters, and calling pitches.
A: Being a catcher you learn to be the guy that’s always “directing traffic” on the field, and a huge part of that comes from having a strong connection with the pitchers. It is really important to make sure they trust you to do your job and also to keep them in a good mindset, and that will often lead to success. That goes hand-in-hand with calling pitches – when you are on the same page with the pitcher in terms of what you want to throw and when, that helps the pitcher be confident in every pitch he throws.
Q: What can you learn from watching your opponents’ pre-game batting practice?
A: By watching guys hit, especially in batting practice, you can see which pitches they like to drive, and which they struggle with. This is great information to have when pitching to certain batters in-game.
Q: Your twin brother Zach will be playing basketball for Washington College next fall. Tell us a little about Zach’s influence on your athletic career.
A: My brother has had a big influence on my athletic career. Growing up, we played everything together and were on the same teams. As we got older, this sort of competition formed between us for our individual sports, and that has always pushed me to be the best that I can be. It also helps to always have someone to train with whenever one of us needs help with anything.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in baseball. Have you always been a catcher?
A: I’ve played baseball since I was 6 or 7. I played many sports growing up but baseball was always my favorite. From the moment I started playing I was behind the plate and it just happened that I never really moved anywhere else.
Q: Who have been your biggest baseball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about baseball?
A: My biggest baseball mentor has definitely been my dad. Even though he’s more of a basketball guy, he has always been there to tell me when I need to be better, and helping me keep a positive mindset no matter what the situation is. He helps me stay confident, which is really important for me.
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player and why?
A: My favorite player right now is Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox. I love the energy and intensity he brings to every game, whether it be making a great play or tossing his bat after a home run, he always brings that energy.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark and why?
A: My favorite ballpark is Petco Park in San Diego. The stadium is in a cool area with a great view of the city behind centerfield, and the stadium itself is just really pretty.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: On game days I focus on staying hydrated and eating right so I can feel great for the game. I try to stretch whenever I can throughout the day to help myself feel comfortable as well. On days when I have time, I like to try to get at least a couple swings before the game starts, mainly just feeling out my swing and focusing on feeling comfortable.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at University of Rhode Island?
A: Right now I’m applying as a business (undecided) student. I think I am leaning towards a finance major, but I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet, so I plan on leaving it open for as long as possible.
Fun facts – Eric Genther
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite movie: The Hangover.
Favorite athlete: Tim Anderson.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem.
Favorite team: Phillies.
Favorite place to visit: Ocean City, N.J.
Favorite pre-game meal: Grilled chicken sandwich.
Person I most admire, and why: “My mom. She has done and continues to do so much for my family and I, and she has been there every step of the way of my athletic career.
Family members: parents Chris and Linda, twin brother Zach.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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