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Freshman phenom Vincent helps Eagles knock off his father's alma mater


For Nixa center fielder Wyatt Vincent, the Eagles’ 1-0 victory versus Hollister on Friday had him going against his father’s alma mater.

Wyatt’s father, Ryan, and uncle, Michael, starred for Hollister in their glory days. Michael graduated in 1980 and went on to play in the minor leagues for the Cincinnati Reds and Ryan graduated in 1995 and played independent ball for the Ozark Mountain Ducks.

“It's kind of cool for my Dad since he played on their team. My uncle enjoys watching his old ball club play, too,” Wyatt said. “My Dad told me the team he played on competed at a high level. They had a really good team back in the day and they still do now. I’ve got a couple buddies on their team. Getting to face them and compete against a really good team was a lot of fun.” 

Many of the Nixa and Hollister players know each other as summer ball teammates for the Nixa Baseball Club. Vincent has known the Tigers’ Hunter Jones for about as long as he can remember.

“I’ve known Hunter since I was 4 or 5 years old,” Vincent said. “My Dad and his Dad were best friends.”

Wyatt has lived in Nixa all of his life, but has visited Hollister on numerous occasions. His grandmother, Sandra, lives in Hollister. She wasn’t able to attend Friday’s game.

Wyatt said he was confident she was cheering for the Eagles and not her hometown Tigers.

“Oh yeah, she's rooting for me,” he said.

Vincent is one of the most highly-touted freshmen to ever play for Nixa. Nine games into his high school career, he’s settling in while hitting cleanup for the Eagles.

College and professional scouts are already well aware of Vincent. He’s traveled across the country to take part in showcases and while playing for his club ball team, Wow Factor, out of Springfield.

"It started last summer,” Vincent said of college recruiting. “I like to focus on the game at hand and not worry about all of that because I still have a long ways to go. Practicing every day keeps your mind on the games at hand and keeps college off your mind. 

“But it's going to come quick. Four years and we're there,” he added. “I don't worry about (recruiting), but it's on my mind. It's fun and it's nice to know you're wanted already.”