Handjis taking care of business in classroom, on diamond

Published 12:03 am Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vidalia High School senior William Handjis plays baseball for the Vikings while also earning a 3.7 GPA. Handjis will be Vidalia’s top option on the mound this year and will also play shortstop. Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat

Vidalia High School senior William Handjis plays baseball for the Vikings while also earning a 3.7 GPA. Handjis will be Vidalia’s top option on the mound this year and will also play shortstop. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

 

VIDALIA — William Handjis is a coaches dream on the diamond, but on top of that, he is what every teacher wishes for in the classroom.

The Vidalia senior can do nearly anything for the Viking baseball team while also boasting a 3.7 GPA.

“He is one of those kids that if you had nine of them, you’d win the whole thing,” Vidalia assistant coach Josh Daniel said. “He’s just a great kid.”

Handjis has played for the Vikings his whole high school career, and is beginning his third season as a starter.

“He has pitched and played shortstop for us all of those years,” Daniel said. “He’s just an all around, outstanding kid and ball player.”

But baseball doesn’t necessarily take a front seat for Handjis.

“We are supposed to be student atheletes,” Handjis said. “If you can’t make good grades in high school and do what you’re supposed to do, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I think it is really important. The good thing about baseball is that it builds relationships and also teaches you how to manage time.”

Handjis said the time management aspect was one of the toughest things he had to deal with when balancing school and baseball.

“It is tough sometimes, but you just have to prioritize,” he said. “You still need to get extra work in outside of practice, too. You have to work on your weaknesses and practice those things to see good results.”

Although Handjis’ plate is full with baseball and school, he still has to handle the pressure of everyone looking to him on the diamond.

“He never shirks a task or complains,” Daniel said. “He’s as much of an on-the-field coach that you can have at the high school level. That is hard to find in high school.”

Handjis said he doesn’t worry too much about it because his main concern is what is best for the team.

“I’ll play wherever my team wants me to play, and I’ll do my best there,” he said.

Handjis has started looking at colleges, and said that LSU-Alexandria has caught his attention.

“I’ve been talking to LSU-Alexandria,” he said. “They’ve guaranteed me a roster spot. But we’ll just have to see what happens this baseball season.”

As for the rest of his time at Vidalia, Handjis wants to just continue taking care of business on the field and in the classroom.

“I want to build upon what we did last year,” he said. “We made it to the playoffs, but I’d like to get a little deeper. We were one and done last year, so hopefully we can go a couple rounds deep.”

Although he will only suit up for the Vikings for one more season, Handjis is hoping that he will leave a lasting impact on the program.

“You have to really invest some time in these younger people if you want this program to continue to prosper far beyond you and your years here,” he said. “You can’t just focus on your own ability.”