RICHMOND - Phil Hilt was one of the hardest working Wildcats on the Edison High School baseball squad during his career.
Now he's he's one of the hardest working Hilltoppers after signing to continue his academic and athletic careers at West Liberty University.
"I think it's a good fit," said Edison head baseball coach Mike Collopy. "From what I understand from their coach they need some infielders.
TO BE A HILLTOPPER — Edison graduate Phil Hilt,flanked by his grandmother Debbie Phillippi, his father Jeff Hilt, and his grandfather Jim Phillippi, will continue his academic and athletic careers at West Liberty. Also on hand for the signing were Edison assistant baseball coach Mike Ludewig, Hilt’s brother Aaron Hilt, and Edison head baseball coach Mike Collopy.
"He's a really good defensive second baseman. He's worked extremely hard for four years and he definitely deserves this opportunity. They're going to get a hardworking young man and he's going to do whatever it takes to help the team out."
Added Hilt of his decision to attend West Liberty, "The school is small and I like the campus a lot. They're looking to get a better program and when a coach wants to do that it shows he cares about his players."
The effort Hilt displayed during his time at Edison is a big part of why Collopy feels he'll find success as a Hilltopper.
"He's a student of the game," said Collopy. "He works extremely hard. It's funny because I remember his junior year we were DHing for him and when you make decisions like that kids take it one way or the other.
"He took extra BP after every practice. I remember cutting the grass down at the field on a Sunday and his dad came down and he just kept hitting and hitting. He got his opportunity and was never out of the lineup after that.
"He's someone who's going to work extremely hard and he's someone who will outlast people over the four years."
Hilt credits his coach for the player he's become and believes the program he runs will play a roll in his ability to excel on the next level.
"Without a doubt I would credit coach Collopy'" said Hilt. "He always has a way to push you. I may not have been the best player coming up, but he pushed me to strive to get better and better every year.
"We run our practices like a college program. Everything we do is similar in a lot of ways. Being a part of this program will allow me to go to West Lib and take off with the ball running."
Off the field Hilt was quick to thank two other role models for guiding him into the young man he's become.
"I'd love to thank my grandpa and my dad for just being there all the time for whatever I needed," said Hilt.