Baseball star keeps on an even keel

Photo courtesy of UNCA
By Valerie McMurray – [email protected] – Editor-in-Chief | March 4, 2015 |
Corey Randall, Bulldogs pitcher and frequent starter, said when he leaves the game after his UNC Asheville career, he may be heading to the Navy to follow in his older sister’s footsteps.
According to the junior new media student, it will be his first time since age four away from
the baseball field, except for one summer break. He played golf, basketball and football
successfully in his youth, but baseball won out for him by high school.
“He liked the team concept,” said his mom, Pam Randall. Corey said his UNCA teammates are like family to him. Even waking up at 5 a.m. to work out is a bonding experience. They go through things together.
His sister, Taylor, 24, said Corey works to improve himself consistently and is known for helping
others too, like showing up to help with practice at his former high school in Mocksville, North Carolina.
“He respects everybody,” Pam said. “He’s not judgmental.”
Corey said he especially admires Taylor, a naval officer stationed in Virginia Beach.
“She’s really driven. Whatever she sets her mind to, she does it,” he said. “I really want to follow what she’s doing. Any time you can serve your country, I think it’s a good thing to do.”
Likewise, Taylor said Corey puts 100 percent of himself into what he’s doing, and can even be
hard on himself.
“I am a competitor on the field, but I try to remember there’s always another game,” he said.
Corey grew up playing both baseball and golf with good prospects. He was traveling by age nine.
He placed in junior golf tournaments around the same time.
Through middle school, he gave basketball and football a turn. His dad said he has always been
a well-rounded natural athlete.
In 10th grade, during his first season in varsity baseball, he was struggling as a pitcher for the
first time, his dad said. That’s how they discovered he needed contact lenses. By 11th grade he
was an All Conference player batting .430 in 4A. As a senior, he was All Conference Player of
the Year.
Before any game, he listens to music to get “in the zone.” Anything from STYX, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin to Drake, 2 Chainz and Katy Perry.
The only activity that rivals playing baseball for Corey is watching baseball, he said. He also wants to use the skills he’s developing in interactive media to promote the game.
The toughest aspect of his life as a student has been managing his time. Outside of his time in
class, on the field or in the gym, he still golfs with his dad and likes fourwheeling, watching
Netflix and shooting recreationally.
Inside of baseball, his heroes are John Lester and Felix Hernandez. In his own life, his family is
his greatest support, attending many games over the years and always sincerely interested in
how he’s doing.
He even appreciates his teachers’ interest in how his team is doing, and said he is grateful the
school is working on improvements to their resources.
Corey described himself as easygoing, and his family highlighted his laid-back, quiet qualities.
But he is also a self-described “goofball,” and his mom, Pam, added, “He has a lot of confidence. But he doesn’t overemphasize how he’s doing, and that’s what I love about him.”