Green Mountain High School in Lakewood, Colorado, has produced two current Ichabod baseball players who are making big contributions to this year’s team. One of those players is junior outfielder Wyatt Featherston.
Featherston currently has a .243 batting average with four home runs and 21 RBI on the year. Washburn is the third school Featherston’s has attended over the past three years. Coming out of high school, he attended D1 Western Kentucky. 10 out of 17 of his hits for the year went for extra bases. After his freshman season, Featherston was feeling a bit overwhelmed and looking for a change.
“Out of high school, I was kind of set on going D1 and going as big as possible,” Featherston said. “Then I got there and wasn’t really the right fit for me and I kind of realized that and I wanted to be closer to home, so I transferred to CSN.”
CSN is the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. While there, Featherston helped the Coyotes to a 36-21 record. He finally made his way to Topeka on the strength of a relationship between his high school coach and Washburn head coach Harley Douglas. The two coaches played together during their own season at Washburn.
Featherston brings a wealth of knowledge to Washburn that he gained playing at the highest level of college baseball. He is now able to be a real asset to the team through skills and leadership.
"With the school he was at he's able to bring a bunch of advice that his coaches gave back to our coaches," said senior catcher Steven Jacobson. "When you're a D1 guy people look up to you more and they look at you as more of a skilled guy. So him coming down to the D2 level, he's able show us some of the drills he did that helped make him successful."
Before all the madness of switching schools, none of which are particularly close to each other, Featherston received the surprise of a lifetime. While in high school he had spoken with some pro scouts just to get a gauge on where his talents were and what he could improve on, but he didn’t really think much about it after that.
Featherston really had no idea if the whole draft situation was ever going to happen. It certainly wasn’t something he was expecting and waiting around for.
He was, without surprise, playing in a game the day he got a call from the son of Colorado Rockies owner, Richard Monfort, telling him that he had been selected in the 34th round by the Rockies. Featherston said his initial reaction was just saying “that’s awesome.”
“It kind of just came out of nowhere,” Featherston said. “It was an amazing experience, that’s for sure.”
Featherston said that hearing his name called during the draft was like a dream-come-true. He’s extremely thankful to the Rockies for the opportunity that they gave him, but he said that he wouldn’t change a thing about deciding to come back to college and play.
For most players, it’s really tempting to go straight to professional baseball out of high school because they can immediately start earning a paycheck to play sport that they love. Featherston, however, knew his limits and made the decision that was best for him.
“I just knew that I wasn’t ready to play professional baseball,” Featherston said. “That’s a whole different animal, and at the same time, I really enjoy going to school, so I really wanted my education.”
By declining to sign with the Rockies, Featherston has been able to grow his game and become a better overall player. The thought of re-entering the draft after college has crossed his mind, but he knows that you have to show a great amount of skill and put up the right stats to prove that you can play at such a high level.
Featherston said if the opportunity presents itself again that he would absolutely take it.
Featherston certainly has plenty of experience to draw on. Along with former high school teammate and current Washburn teammate Josh Ramirez, he won back-to-back Colorado 4A State Championships in 2014 and 2015.
Featherston also comes from an extremely athletic family. His father, Mark, played football at Western State Colorado, and his mother, Laura, and his older sister, Madison, both played volleyball at Northern Colorado and Southern Connecticut State, respectively.
If Featherston doesn’t pursue professional baseball, he hopes to one day be a sports psychologist. For now, he will look to continue to produce wins for the Ichabods who recently had a six-game win steak before it was snapped late last week.