With the high school baseball season gone, Dakota Peters still has the fall to look forward to next season.
The Van Buren third baseman and pitcher has already signed a national letter of intent to join Conners State College in Warner, Okla.
“I’m ready to go and play baseball,” Peters said. “Not sure what my major would be but I hope to find out soon.”
Peters is another three-year starter for the Pointers. He began as a first baseman during his sophomore season and was mostly a catcher last year. Peters was geared up to take over third base and pitch for his senior year.
“He’s good enough at all of them that we ould move him around to get other guys in the field to make the team better,” said the new Van Buren head coach Luke Weatherford. “He can really hit. He’s a big, strong kid that can really impress you in batting practice. It was pretty normal for him to hit four or five balls out every day.”
Peters has been playing baseball for 13 years and tried his hand at football until the eighth grade. A friend coaxed him to play baseball around the fifth or sixth grade and “I loved it ever since.”
Van Buren had a 6-1 start and was getting ready for its first conference game when Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a stay-at-home order for students and Arkansas Activities Association suspended the season a week prior to Spring Break. When it looked like the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 wasn’t going to slow down anytime soon, the AAA canceled the 2020 spring season.
Peters felt like Van Buren was poised to make some noise this season.
“I keep trying to be the best I can for my team and for myself,” said Peters. “We had good chemistry and we were competitive. We are always together on and off the field. We may not be the most talented, but we would have fought to win every game.”
The only loss for the Pointers this season was an 8-6 walk-off loss to Robinson back on March 7. Van Buren also had a couple of one-run and two-run wins.
Peters said he enjoyed his time playing in Baum Stadium and Arvest Ballpark but would like the opportunity to play a Yankee Stadium as well.
The highlight of his prep career was against Cabot in the quarterfinals of his sophomore year. Van Buren picked up the win in extra innings.
“I only had one hit, but I was able to throw the last pitch and celebrate on the bus because we beat last year’s champion,” he said.
To get ready for a game Peters would hit two or three times and would either pray with his teammates or by himself.
“I thank God for my ability and everything I’ve been able to accomplish in my career,” said Peters. “If I have a bad play or a bad game, I don’t let it take me away from the game or the next one. I just shake it off and move on.”
His advice for young athletes: “Try all the sports and find what you love. When you find that out, never stop grinding.”
Fun Questions With Dakota Peters
What is your biggest fear? Drowning
If you could have any superpower what would it be? Invisibility
If you could have any kind of pet what would you want? Dog
What would you be rather doing instead of being quarantined at home? Practice with my team, and being out on that field for the final time with my boys
Biggest pet peeve? When someone doesn’t answer me
Do you have any annoying habits? Biting my nails
Who is your inspiration? God, I thank him for everything. My ability and everything I’ve been able to accomplish
What is the first thing you’ll do when this crisis or mess is all over? Play baseball and meet up with my team
Have you gotten caught up on any television shows or reading? What have you been watching or reading? Not really, I don’t watch many shows.