Former Husky answers the call
by Nathan Ham Sports Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a long and interesting road for Ashe native Michael Blevins.
Blevins, a 2003 graduate from Ashe County High School, played baseball at ACHS for four years and played at the varsity level for two years.
After graduating high school, Blevins completed a one-year welding program at Wilkes Community College and took a job at Oldham.
“When Oldham shut down, I went back for a Broadcasting Associates Degree,” said Blevins. “Then in late 2007, I felt called to go back to school at Ohio Christian to pursue my calling in ministry.”
Little did he know that a good college education would not be the only thing to come from his decision to go to OCU.
“When I was talking with a guy from college, he asked if I played a sport in high school, and I said baseball, but that was four years ago,” said Blevins. “So he told me that they were needing guys, in fact, they were needing pitchers.”
Blevins was not a pitcher by trade. According to him he pitched one time in little league and it ended with three walks and a hit batter, so he did not expect to have any sort of career as a pitcher.
“Before I moved to OCU in January of 2008, I started throwing live bullpens to a buddy,” said Blevins. “I owe any success I had on the mound to Matthew Hines from Sparta for letting me throw lives bullpens to him, which were sometimes quite painful.”
As his college baseball career started at Ohio Christian, Blevins says he was fully expecting to be sitting on the bench. However, after a lot of hard work and practice, Blevins was far from a bench warmer.
“By the time the ‘08 season started, I was in the three-hole playing shortstop and pitching, both for the first time in my baseball life,” said Blevins.
In his junior season, Blevins played the year of his life, becoming the first OCU player ever to be named to the National Christian College Athletic Association All-American Team. Blevins went 7-2 as a pitcher while hitting .389 with 35 runs batted in. He did all of this in just 33 games and helped lead OCU to the national tournament for the first time in school history.
When Blevins’ career was all said and done, he finished with a .407 batting average, .444 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage.
“Tons of guys we played with and against asked if I was going to play professional at all,” said Blevins. “And my response was that I’m not called to be a ball player.”
Blevins, the son of Rev. Roger and Teresa Blevins, was ready to follow in his dad’s footsteps, even though there were plenty of times when he did not want to.
“I tried not to become a preacher, but finally, I stopped running from the call and I’ve never been more full of joy,” said Blevins.
“Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I have seen the ups and downs of ministry and did not want any of that. But as I got older, I knew there was nothing else I’d rather be,” added Blevins.
Blevins still remains close to the sport of baseball as he has been an assistant coach on the Ohio Christian staff since graduation in 2011. He is also working on his Master’s Degree in Practical Theology, which Blevins hopes to have finished next year.
“I’ve been really blessed at this point in my life. I was married in 2011 to my wife Kenna and I took a small church in Columbus in October last year called Valleyview Church of Christ in Christian Union,” said Blevins. “Hopefully God blesses me and I can help Valleyview meet some needs in the community and continue to grow.”
He and his wife are expecting their first child in December.
Blevins added that lots of people are always asking him if he’d ever consider moving back home to Ashe County. Blevins’ simple response: “When the Huskies need a baseball coach, and God calls me to a church there, I’ll be home.”
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