It’s safe to say Tyler Haskins caught on to being an outstanding baseball player at Ripley High School.

The recent graduate enjoyed an outstanding career in his four years with Shane Casto’s program, including a dynamite senior season. He did so primarily as the Viking catcher.

His play during the final go-round with the Vikings in 2019 earned him a spot in the annual North-South Baseball Classic. The doubleheader was staged this past Sunday at the beautiful Glenville State College complex.

“It was a great experience,” said the articulate Haskins. “I got to play with and against a lot of guys I’ve played against the last few years.”

Haskins donned the red and white for the South squad in the Classic.

He caught the entire first game (a 4-1 loss).

“There were a lot of players selected, so they made sure to get everyone playing time,” he said.

Both games were seven-inning affairs.

He reached base on an error in his first trip to the plate, walked in his second appearance and flied out to right the third time up.

Defensively, Haskins showed off his skills from behind the plate by throwing out two baserunners.

“It was really an honor to be a part of it (N-S Classic) and be with some of the state’s best players,” he said.

His baseball-playing days are far from over.

Haskins will be taking his talents to Fairmont State University to compete for the Falcons.

“Playing college baseball has always been my dream,” he said.

He plans to major in exercise science at the Marion County-based school.

As the leadoff hitter and all-important man behind the plate, Haskins batted .390 this season for the Vikings with six home runs and 19 RBI.

He took great pride in getting things started offensively for Ripley at the plate while handling the pitchers on the defensive side (Haskins also did some pitching for the Vikings).

“It’s nice to know my coaches trusted me to fill those roles,” Haskins said. “I tried to always be a leader for my team and show the younger players what it’s like to lead.”

While he enjoyed all aspects of his time in a Viking uniform under the guidance of Casto, a former Viking great, Haskins says getting the chance to play with his younger brother Brett this past season was the highlight of his career. Brett Haskins showed loads of promise as a freshman.

“It was awesome to be on the same team with him. We haven’t done that since Little League,” Haskins said. “He impressed me so much. It was just a lot of fun to be around him.”

Haskins will spend his summer staying in shape and playing for the American Legion Post 15 team out of Parkersburg.

While his days as a Viking standout have come to a close, the good news is Tyler Haskins will continue to represent the program in a positive way as he makes his ascent to the collegiate level.