Westmoreland senior spotlight: Derry’s Ryan Hood

Monday, April 4, 2022 | 12:13 PM

Last season, Derry’s baseball team made some history, winning its first section title since 1992 and winning its first playoff game since 2005.

That moment for the team meant a lot, especially to senior pitcher Ryan Hood.

“It’s pretty hard to put into words,” Hood said. “The chemistry that we had and the way we played together as a team, I don’t know if I’ll ever play on another team like that again.”

Hood, a pitcher, who’s battled arm problems throughout high school, pitched just 15 innings last season.

But, he’s back and ready for his senior season.

“I’ve kind of got a chip on my shoulder,” Hood said. “I’m feeling a lot better now, and I’m ready to show what I can do.”

Derry lost 10 seniors following last season, but the Trojans are ready to win games this year.

“I know Coach (John Flickinger) is ready to go back to the playoffs again and go even farther than we were last year,” Hood said.

Hood committed to play at Gannon next year and is undecided on a major.

Before his senior season begins, Ryan Hood took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

How did you get started with baseball?

My parents got me into it when I was about 4 or 5. I started playing T-ball at the Little League Field, that’s where I met most of my friends I’m playing with now. It’s definitely where everything got started off. I have really fond memories of those times.

What do you feel you have left to accomplish in your senior season?

Personally, I’d just like to play the best baseball I can play. Team-wise, I’d like to see us get farther than we did last year. I just want to have a good time with all my friends, because this is my last high school year of baseball.

What are some of the things you feel you can bring to this team as far as guiding this young staff?

We’ve got a lot of young guys, a lot of throwers. There’s a difference between throwers and pitchers, we’ve got some things they need to learn that I think I could help them out with. If we get on those things and keep working, that would be a great help to the team.

What is the team’s biggest strength?

Our offense. We were in the gym four days a week the whole offseason. Coach (Brian Thomas), he had us in there lifting all the time. We’re definitely a lot stronger of a team now. Even at practices we can all tell we’re hitting the ball a lot farther, a lot stronger.

Is there an area where you think the team could improve?

I’d say with some of the fundamental defense stuff. There’s a lot of things that we need to continue to work on, that I think if we sort of smooth those out, we’ll be a lot better of a team. Just little things for now, things that we could work on together.

What went into the recruitment process and choice of Gannon?

It was a long process. I talked to a good amount of schools, and I did a couple of visits. I had a lot of help from the guys at All-American. I played with them for a couple years of my career, they helped me a lot. I went out to see Gannon last winter, and from the moment I was up there I knew that’s where I wanted to be.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

My favorite music artist is Johnny Cash. We used to listen to that a lot whenever I was younger, my dad would play that a lot. I just like to listen to him, usually a lot before pregame, just getting in the right mood and mindset to go out there and throw.


More Baseball

High school roundup for March 29, 2023: Hempfield blanks Mt. Lebanon
High school roundup for March 28, 2023: Deer Lakes doubles up Shady Side Academy
Greensburg Central Catholic baseball gets offense going in rout of Ligonier Valley
High school roundup for March 27, 2023: Toryn Fulton belts 4 homers as Franklin Regional wins slugfest
Burrell takes advantage of Valley miscues to win renewal of baseball rivalry