South's Jonny Homza was named the 2017 Don Rabung CIC MVP Award and is currently in Dallas, Texas, for a pre-draft workout with the Texas Rangers. Photo credit Perfect Game
There’s commitment, and then there’s Jonny Homza.
Baseball isn’t just a game for the South Anchorage all-star; it’s a way of life. The senior eats, sleeps and breathes the sport.
He’s so serious about it he skipped prom to work out at the gym.
“I can’t remember any part of my life without baseball,” he told me. “It’s such a large part of who I am.”
The MVP gene must run in the family.
Homza was selected this year’s Don Rabung CIC MVP by Cook Inlet Conference coaches at Thursday night’s awards meeting, following in the footsteps of older brother Willy, who won the honor in 2015.
The 17-year-old is currently in Dallas, Texas, for a pre-draft workout with the Texas Rangers. He could potentially be picked in next month’s MLB draft, but right now his focus is helping South repeat as ASAA state champs.
“I’ll be back, for sure,” Homza said of next week’s tournament.
The 2016 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year has enjoyed another excellent season at the plate, on the mound and at shortstop.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder batted .577 in 10 games with six extra-base hits, including a home run and three triples. He scored 15 times, collected 10 RBIs, stole six bases and reached base at a .703 clip.
“My swing felt really good,” he said. “I hit a lot in the winter and put in a lot of work at the gym, and my body felt really good, which allowed everything else to fall into place.”
As a starting pitcher, the right-hander posted a 3-0 record with a 1.16 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.
“I definitely take more pride in my hitting,” said the University of Hawaii commit. “That’s where I put in the most work and it’s nice to see it pay off a little bit.”
Homza skipped prom to work out with teammates Sladen Mohl and Max Costello.
“We didn’t really have dates,” Homza said with a laugh, “so we just went to The Alaska Club West, which is open 24/7. It was more funny … we just didn’t really care too much about prom.”
He’d rather win another state championship.
Homza will play infield at the next level, but you will probably see him pitch one last time at the state tournament, which is June 1-2-3 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
The South Wolverines have reached the state championship game four straight years, winning the title in 2016 and 2013.
Homza headlines another super South squad this year.
“It’s been a really good season,” he said. “Definitely put in a lot of work in the offseason and so has the rest of my team, which is why we’ve been dominate this year.”
Van Williams is a freelance writer in Anchorage and a correspondent for the Alaska School Activities Association.