Off the field, Cody Willing is not the talkative type.
That quiet persona may have helped the Fox Creek High School sophomore steal 54 bases in 56 attempts so far this season.
"He's having a great season," said Fox Creek baseball coach David Bell.
With those numbers, Bell said, Willing is among the best in the nation.
To steal bases, a player has to get on base, and Willing is having no trouble there either. He's batting .489 with 19 runs batted in.
"He's doing some incredible things on the baseball field," Bell said.
The center fielder has played baseball since he was in elementary school.
"My dad and I used to play around in the yard, and then he signed me up for T-ball," he said.
Willing said he enjoys center field because the location allows him to see everything that's going on during a game.
"You have control over the whole outfield," he said.
Bell said his Predators' baseball team has many teens like Willing.
"He and several of the other guys are just good guys," he said. "They are growing and learning and fun to be around."
Willing also plays football and basketball. He played quarterback on the junior varsity gridiron squad and wide receiver on the varsity team last year.
Playing receiver helped him with quarterback, he said.
"I knew the routes they were running," he said.
Willing said he will probably play quarterback on the varsity team next season.
He is also competitive in the classroom with a grade point average of 4.4.
After graduating, he would like to attend Clemson University or the University of South Carolina. He plans to become a game warden.
Reach Charmain Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.