SAN ANTONIO – It’s not unheard of to excel in two sports in high school, but it’s something else entirely to have the ability to pursue either sport in college at the Division I level. However, that’s exactly what Ronald Reagan High School graduating senior, Will Carsten, accomplished with opportunities to play baseball at Texas State, Miami and Oklahoma State among others or basketball at Southeast Missouri State, an offer he received in April.
Carsten was coached by John Hirst and Chans Chapman at Reagan in baseball and baseball, respectively, and both coaches said Carsten’s work ethic allowed him to be such a successful multisport athlete.
“It says a lot because you know it’s hard – especially at the 6A level to be a multisport guy and be really good at multiple sports and, you know, he was able to do it,” said Chapman.
As a senior, the 1st team All-District selection averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds. He also comes from a strong tradition of the sport: his grandfather, Stan Bonewitz, accumulated more than 700 career wins and coached East Central to the 5A Title and a 35-0 record in 1995.
Carsten only spent two years on the Rattlers squad having spent his freshman and sophomore years at TMI Episcopal. He said it wasn’t until high school that he really developed a love of basketball.
“Growing up my whole life, I’ve done both,” said Carsten. “I’ve never really experienced what it’s really like to spend and dedicate 100% of my life into one sport and a lot of people are telling me that in time, that I’m just scratching kind of like the surface of like my potential in basketball.”
Hirst, who said Carsten might be the best rebounder he’s ever coached, believes Carsten’s future in basketball would be bright if he chose to pursue that path.
“I think he’s a great player. I think he’s got a really high ceiling,” said Hirst. “He’s got a college-ready body right now which is really rare...We really feel like if he chose to play basketball, he would have an opportunity to be an outstanding player and have a great career in college.”
His baseball senior season was cut short due to the coronavirus but his junior year numbers were impressive: a 9-0 record and a 1.63 ER, earning 2019 2nd team All-District Pitcher accolades. Carsten decommitted from playing baseball at Tulane in December but the 6-8 right-handed pitcher knew his physical attributes could still make a bigger difference in baseball.
“If I do this, there’s a chance that, you know, I just get lost in a bunch of other athletes that are all equally as good if not better in the basketball level,” he said. “Whereas in baseball, I’m already kind of a standout because I’ve got a foot or six inches on a lot of other players.”
As the NCAA granted another year of eligibility to senior spring student-athletes and the MLB draft decreased from 40 to five rounds, less scholarship money was available to incoming players and Carsten ultimately elected to play at a high level JuCo in Waco, McLennan Community College. He hopes the decision will help him both improve his skills and put him in better position for a scholarship or the MLB draft.
“In the past, they have a really strong advancement of skills in terms of like pitching, becoming an overall better player,” he said. “And I think that a goal of mine is to reach a Division I college either next year or the year after or potentially make it to the MLB draft and I feel like that’s the best route.”