By Lily Belcher
After pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings for the Durant High School Cougars in the Class 7A FHSAA state semifinals, right-handed starting pitcher Sean Hermann was named the Class 7A Player of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers and earned the 40th annual Tony Saladino Award. The Class 7A award from the Florida Dairy Farmers and countywide Tony Saladino Award were given to Hermann after being selected by a statewide panel of baseball coaches and media representatives from their respective panels.
“You just can’t explain the feeling,” said Hermann. “Especially for me, growing up watching my brother play in this area and you learn the Saladino name, and to be given that award is truly something special. And to win the Florida 7A player of the year is obviously special because I believe Florida has some of the best baseball in the nation because we don’t get snow and can play all year, so it’s a huge honor to get that award also.”
The senior pitched 78 1/3 innings this season with 135 strikeouts and nine wins, boasting a 0.36 ERA and .146 opponent batting average on the season.
Hermann’s coach, Ulysses ‘Butch’ Valdes, explained the importance of Hermann winning the awards, saying the accomplishment is “obviously is one of the highest awards in baseball because we’ve only had one other player win the awards and that was [current professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels organization] Tyler Danish. So, for him to be the second at Durant to win that award speaks volumes on his ability and the type of player he is.”
In addition to being an award-winning player on the field, Hermann’s reputation for being humble and gracious has followed him throughout high school.
“With him, it’s so quiet because he doesn’t really talk about it. He just appreciates it and is really very humble, which is a great characteristic of that young man,” said Valdes.
In the fall, Hermann will attend USF, which scouted him at the beginning of his high school career after noticing his talent at a young age.
Hermann said his goal while moving on to USF is “to put USF on the map. We had a great season this year, but I feel we don’t get the respect we deserve and I want that to change. I hope to lead us to our first Omaha appearance and hopefully win a national championship there.”