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Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
HHS' Bittel inks with William Jewell

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HHS' Bittel inks with William Jewell

Published on -5/3/2013, 2:16 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

If it weren't for a growth spurt, Hays High School senior Daniel Bittel might not have had as much success as he has had.

Bittel played in the infield as a seventh grader, but after growing in middle school, he switched to the outfield.

"As I matured, I got tall and lanky, which isn't as much an infielder's body," Bittel said. "Then with my speed, the outfield seemed like a good choice for me."

There was an opening on varsity at center field his freshman year, and Bittel filled it.

He's been there ever since, and he could be there in the future as well.

Bittel signed his letter of intent to compete for William Jewell College on Friday in the HHS cafeteria.

Bittel, an honor roll student who scored a 32 on his ACT, said the decision was based upon his academic opportunities as much as his athletic opportunities.

"Academics have always been my biggest strengths since I was young," he said. "I've always wanted to go to a college that would meet those standards that I have, and also athletically, I liked Coach (Mike) Stockton a lot. I can't wait to play for him."

William Jewell College is a private four-year college in Liberty, Mo., that competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

"You don't have these kinds of opportunities unless you work hard at it," said Hays High coach Frank Leo. "Dan has done that. He made a decision his sophomore year to try and take baseball to the next level and try to play after high school. Once you make that decision, you have to go out and put in the work and the effort to do it both on the field and off."

On the field, Bittel has been solid.

Defensively, he has committed just one error this year. At the plate, he hasn't been at his best, but he still is hitting .277 with a .370 on-base percentage. He also has scored 14 runs and swiped a team-high nine bases.

"He is more of a veteran-type player," Leo said. "He understands the game, and consequently, when he gets on base he does score. That's why we need to get him on base, because he has a knack of trying to find a way to get home."

When Bittel first stepped into the starting spot as a freshman, he said he was nervous but he also had an aggressive mindset.

"As a freshman, you go into it with nothing to lose because you really don't as a freshman," he said. "You just have to go out there and prove yourself a little bit."

In his time at Hays, he has been a part of multiple championship teams, helping them along the way with acrobatic catches, long throws, solid contributions with his bat and speed on the base paths.

"I am glad I had the opportunity," he said.

Bittel is undecided about what he wants to major in, but he said he is excited for the upcoming academic and athletic experiences.

"It's been a dream since I was a little boy," Bittel said.

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