Bridgewater’s Two-Sport Star: The Brett Tharp Story
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - When it comes to being a college athlete, Brett Tharp is a true throwback.
“Tough, gritty, old school.”
Those are the words Bridgewater College baseball head coach Ben Spotts uses to describe Tharp, who is doing something rarely seen in modern day college athletics: excelling in two different sports.
“At first I was just looking for a school to go play football at and that’s what I decided to do,” said Tharp, who is a senior at Bridgewater. “I came here to one of Bridgewater’s last recruiting days and they really liked me so I decided to come here.”
Tharp continued: “And then over the summer I was playing summer (baseball) back home and I got in touch with Curt Kendall, the (former) baseball coach, and he came and watched me play a game and he said I could help them.”
Tharp has been a four-year member of both the football and baseball teams at Bridgewater. He registered 207 tackles, five sacks, and four interceptions while earning All-American honors as a linebacker on the football field. On the baseball diamond, Tharp is a two-way player who is part of the everyday lineup and serves as the Eagles’ closer on the mound.
“I love it,” said Tharp. “I am glad I decided to do it. I’ve had many opportunities to play both football and baseball here at Bridgewater and I’ve had many friends that I probably wouldn’t have made if I didn’t play two sports.”
Competing and excelling in both sports wouldn’t be possible if Tharp didn’t have cooperation and collaboration from both of his head coaches.
“From a football perspective, whenever the spring rolled around, Brett was always about baseball,” said Bridgewater football head coach Scott Lemn. “Basically, once football season ended, he became a baseball player.”
Spotts added: ““The expectation from me was always...during football season...play football and I don’t need to do anything other than just check in with (Brett) and say hi...and watch (Tharp) play on Saturday.”
While Tharp’s college football career is over, the Hardy County (WV) native is still competing on the baseball field where the Eagles are hoping to contend for the ODAC Tournament Championship. They’re currently tied for fourth in the ODAC standings.
“I am just soaking it up,” said Tharp. “Hopefully we can make a run into this postseason and go far.”
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