Veneziano Goes Pro

 (Left) Venziano poses for a photo with basketball teammate Johnny Bamford. (Right) Veneziano signs his first professional contract in the Kansas City Royals organization.

(Left) Venziano poses for a photo with basketball teammate Johnny Bamford. (Right) Veneziano signs his first professional contract in the Kansas City Royals organization.

Aidan McHenry, Editor in Chief

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Class of 2016 baseball star Anthony Veneziano was drafted this June by the Kansas City Royals of the MLB.

From Warren Hills to Coastal Carolina, Veneziano continued to improve year by year, eventually proving he has what it takes to go pro.

“I became interested in baseball ever since I was I could pick up a ball,” he said. “Being in professional baseball is amazing, I get paid to play the sport I love. I get to work on my craft and development every day and get to travel the country playing baseball.”

The only drawback about playing professionally, he said, is being away from home and the long bus rides.

Veneziano won the Pioneer League in his first season professionally, with Royals minor league affiliate, Idaho Falls Chukars.

“I’ve been on a few championship teams in my baseball career and that is a stand out moment because all the hard work you put in comes to fruition and is extremely fulfilling,” he said. “And dog piling on a field with all your teammates is a surreal feeling.”

Despite having his focus on being the best he could at baseball in high school, Veneziano still managed to have fun.

Some of his best memories were “being at every Friday night football game cheering on the Streaks [and] helping Shane Plenge run for president of Student Council with my other good buddy, Meatball [Anthony Spirdigliozzi] and trying to get the whole school to vote for him,” he said.

Veneziano also said he could not choose a favorite teacher from his time at Hills because they were all great, but he did have his favorite classes.

Veneziano added, “Being an athlete, PE class was always one of my favorites. I really enjoyed all my history classes as well.”

An all-time favorite high school memory for Veneziano was winning the state sectional championship in basketball during his senior year under head coach Stanley Kubbishun.

That season he and Johnny Bamford led the team to one of its deepest playoff runs ever.

“It was incredible,” Veneziano said. “Going to battle every day with your best friends in front of a packed gym every game was such a great experience,” he said. “And Meatball ran the Blue Crew back then and rallied the whole school behind us and the school spirit was through the roof.”

But what is the biggest difference between college and professional baseball?

“The biggest thing from college to professional baseball is the hours you have to put in off the field,” he said. “All the preparation, the training, the baseball classes I take–it really is a full time job and more. But all the extra work is making me such a better player and person.”

Veneziano shared some words of advice to young baseball players aiming to play professionally one day.

“Work hard every day and listen to your coaches,” he said. “Be committed to what you want to do and chase your dreams.”