We are starting a new segment here at WPIAL Baseball, where we showcase one of the WPIAL’s top ball players. To start this new addition to our lineup, we decided to interview Butler’s very own, Connor Ollio.
If you have yet to hear about what is brewing in Butler this year, you better start tuning in. The Golden Tornadoes are off to an incredible 4-0 start to their season, with one of these wins coming in upset fashion over the heavy 6A favorite, Pine Richland. Ollio is a force all over the field. His fastball has already been recorded above the 90 mph mark, on the flip side he showcases gap-to-gap power and quick hands, and also carries the utility skill-set to thrive at any position on the diamond.
All of these talents are extremely impressive, but what is most intriguing with Connor is his maturity as a ball player and person. He was a part of the 15u, USA baseball team that brought home the Pan Am gold in 2015. After his final season at Butler, he will move on to play for Mike Fox and the baseball powerhouse that is the University of North Carolina.
I had a chance to discuss a number of topics with Connor, and here is what he had to say.
Q : First, I just wanted to start talking about your team at Butler this season. Obviously you guys are off to an awesome start, what’s the mindset throughout the team right now during this period of success?
C : We get after it every day. Our goal is trying to make ourselves a little bit better each time we play/practice. Most importantly we all play for each other, and always have each other’s back.
Q : We had you guys highly ranked, and knew you were going to be tough to beat, but as a team did you know this season had a legitimate chance to be a really special season? Is the mantra this season WPIAL Title or bust?
C : Absolutely. We’re a tight group that’s been playing together for a long time. We knew we had something special, we just had to work hard and put it all together.
Q : 6A Section 1 is kind of like the group of death in that conference. All 6 of the squads are competitive year in and year out and have flirted with the top 10 in our rankings at one point or another during the early weeks. Is there a particular team that you guys really look forward to going up against? Like a sort of rivalry you guys circle on the schedule that you want to win just a little bit more than the other contests?
C : Every section game is a huge game of course, but we definitely like to play Pine. It’s always a fun game.
Q : Yes it’s definitely a potential 6A championship matchup, so we love seeing how it fares during the regular season. So now on to you a little personally. Who were some of the final schools you were deciding between for your commitment, and what made you ultimately choose the Tar Heels?
C : I had it narrowed down to UNC, Wake Forest and Duke. I could really see myself succeeding both on and off the field in chapel hill. I love campus, the coaching staff, and all the facilities there
Q : We like to promote hotbeds for college recruiting we can for the younger players who have not committed yet can see where they might have the most success getting seen. Was there a particular place or tournament that UNC saw you play at?
C : They ended up coming down to Georgia to see me play in a summer ball tournament, and recruited me right after that.
Q : Ok, rapid fire time, you ready to go?
C: Let’s do it.
Q : What’s the go to song/artist on CO’s playlist prior to game time?
C: Oh man that’s tough haha. Uhh I’d probably go with Run This Town by Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
Q : Xbox or Playstation?
C : I don’t play many video games but I had an Xbox so I’ll go with that
Q : Favorite professional sports team?
C : Red Sox
Q : Favorite professional athlete?
C : Mike trout
Q : Anything you want to say to the WPIAL Baseball fans or any shoutouts you want to give before we cut it off?
C : Haha that’s okay. Hopefully I can save the shoutout for the end of the season. Thank you for the opportunity, this was great!
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