OTTAWA LAKE – Three-sport Whiteford athlete Thomas Eitniear has verbally committed to attend the University of Toledo on a baseball scholarship.
“I really like the coaching staff at Toledo,” said Eitniear, a junior at Whiteford. “They have made me feel at home and part of their family since day one. They are all genuine and great to be around.”
Eitniear batted .391 in 35 games for Whiteford in the spring of 2016, his sophomore season. He stole 29 bases and had a slugging percentage of .470 while scoring 39 runs as the Whiteford leadoff hitter. He was named second team All-State by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.
“I knew during the first week of practice in his freshman year that he was special and not out of place on the varsity team,” said Whiteford baseball coach Terry Pant. “He has quick hands and a quick release.”
Eitniear also plays football and basketball at Whiteford. This past fall the Bobcat quarterback threw for more than 1,000 yards and ran for more than 900 in leading the Bobcats into the Division 8 state championship game. He scored Whiteford’s only touchdown in that game on an 81-yard run. He currently is leading scorer (15 ppg.) on Whiteford’s 9-1, state-ranked basketball team.
“Thomas is a tremendous athlete and young man,” Whiteford Athletic Director and football coach Jason Mensing said. “I still remember when he was in the seventh-grade and he invited his entire class to his birthday party. Right then, I knew he was someone who was going to be an excellent leader who believed in inclusivity. I’m excited to see him have this opportunity and I’m certain he will have a great career at Toledo.”
John Rice, boys basketball coach at Whiteford, said Eitniear will be successful in the Mid-American Conference.
“Thomas is one of the most coachable kids I have had,” Rice said. “He works hard at all three sports and is a real team player.”
Eitniear has several years of travel baseball under his belt, playing in tournaments and camps throughout the country.
In addition to the coaching staff, Eitniear also said he is pleased with the proximity of his college choice.
“I love the fact that I’ll be close enough to come watch my brothers Ty and Tre play sports at Whiteford,” he said.
He is the son of Tom and Brittany Eitniear. They live in Ottawa Lake.