Player Spotlight: Ross Heffley

Ross Heffley. Photo: Doug Powell

Don’t let Ross Heffley’s short stature fool you.

At 5 feet 8 inches tall and 185 pounds he may not intimidate the average person, but his play on the diamond in three seasons for the Western Carolina Catamounts baseball team has been gigantic.

Heffley, a senior infielder for WCU, entered his senior season ranked tops in three major statistical categories in hits, RBIs and doubles. His play up to this point in the season has made him an All-American, but to him it doesn’t mean as much.

“It’s an honor; I’ve worked hard throughout my career. But overall, I don’t put much into it. If we’re not winning games it doesn’t mean a whole lot. It’s only fun when you’re winning,” Heffley said.

Heffley hasn’t always been in the spotlight, however. He grew up in Snellville, Ga. where he attended Brookwood High School. Although he was a good player, he didn’t receive much attention from Division I schools.

“Out of high school I was recruited by Columbus State, a Division II school in Georgia, they have a pretty good history, but I really wanted to play Division I baseball. But I didn’t have any Division I offers,” Heffley said.

“I actually signed and committed to go to South Georgia Junior College, but I talked with the coaches, kind of with the understanding that if I got a Division I offer later in the spring that they would release me,” Heffley said.

He did get that offer and that school was Western Carolina.

“I was waiting around and had a pretty good senior year and nothing really came of it. But then July, after I graduated, the assistant coach here at the time called me up and told me they would like to have me here for a visit,” Heffley said.

That visit was one Heffley remembered fondly and let’s just say he came away impressed.

“I came up I think the next day, loved it and then I committed the day after that. I thought they were going to pull the offer, so I called them before they could change their minds and committed,” Heffley jokingly said.

Heffley stated that the fans were a big part of the decision to come here and appreciated them even more when he got to play in front of the Catamount crowd for the first time his freshman year.

“When tailgating was allowed my freshman year, I don’t think there is anything like that in the country. You have 3,000 people out there for every game against some school they’ve never heard of. It’s a great atmosphere,” Heffley said.

Baseball has taken up a huge portion of Heffley’s life, but he admits that pro scouts have not been visiting him as much as he would like. He does have a backup plan however, as he is majoring in electrical engineering and hopes to find him a job in that field.

“I still have another year of school after this, I feel like that degree gives me a lot of different options. I’m just going to try to find a job in hydroelectric engineering, power engineering or petroleum,” Heffley said.

If baseball does happen to work out for Heffley there is one specific team he would be excited to hear from.

“I’m a big Yankees fan,” Heffley said.