Harding’s Durda hopes to get noticed

At this point in the year, most athletes know whether or not they’ll be playing in college. Heading into his final game tonight, the High School Valley All-Star Classic at Eastwood Field, Harding first baseman and pitcher Jadon Durda is still unsure of his plans. But, he knows he wants to continue his playing career.

“I’m hoping to have a really good last game,” Durda said. “I know there’s some scouts there. I’m hoping to impress some of those people.”

Harding’s season may not have ended the way he liked, but that didn’t damper his experience with the program.

“It was a great experience,” Durda said. “I had very supportive coaches. I had friendships along the way that I wouldn’t have without being there. It was, it was very nice. We had a very diverse team. I got to know people from all different backgrounds.”

As a senior on a young team, Durda embraced the leadership role that comes with being an elder — showing his younger teammates what it’s like to be a good teammate and how to represent Warren.

“My role grew becoming a senior,” Durda said. “We had very good seniors last year who led us into this year. Me and my other senior Matt Williams, we just wanted to keep the tradition going. Being good teammates and leading and showing the younger kids in our program how to keep yourselves up and how to represent our community well.”

There can be excitement when playing with players you’ve spent the last four years battling against during all-star games. With Durda, it’s no different.

“It’ll be fun to go against them for the last time,” Durda said. “I know there’s kids I played from Howland, Canfield and Boardman that are all going their own separate ways, their own colleges and this will be their last time stepping on the field. It’ll be fun to go out and spend those last couple innings with them on the field.”

However, he’s much more excited about playing one last game with his teammate and close friend Williams, the other all-star coming from the Raiders.

“He’s always been a teammate has always been there for me,” Durda said. “So it’ll be sad to be on the field with him for the last time, but we both have other things that we’re going to do on in life, and we’ve created a friendship that will last forever. It’ll be nice to be on the field with him one more time.”

Regardless of the path he walks heading into next year, his leadership role with the baseball team could go a long way.

When asked if he wants to keep playing after high school, Durda couldn’t have given a more simple answer.

“Yes,” he said.