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COC's Alex Bishop: Still telling his story

Once a two-sport star in high school, Alex Bishop continues to silence doubters

Posted: April 6, 2013 10:51 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2013 10:51 p.m.

College of the Canyons sophomore Alex Bishop is currently the team's top hitter.

 

Alex Bishop could have been one of those stories of high school athletic success that never amounted to anything more.

One of those guys who held on to his prep career into his adulthood.

The story would go “I scored four touchdowns in a high school football game then had the game-winning RBI in a crucial league baseball game.”

And then what happened to you?

That’s the point where Bishop could have said, “Well I was too small so no one recruited me and I quit and became what I am today.”

You just don’t know how easily the best quarterback in the Santa Clarita Valley for two years in a row and a solid catcher on Foothill League championship baseball teams for Valencia High could have settled for that.

But College of the Canyons’ best hitter never settled.

“To be honest, I kind of feel I was overlooked or looked at wrong by some people,” Bishop says. “All I really wanted was an opportunity to prove myself. It definitely motivated me.”

At Valencia High, he passed for 7,492 passing yards, 81 touchdowns and had a 69 percent completion percentage on the football field as a two-year starting quarterback in 2009 and 2010.

On the baseball field, he batted .318 with five home runs and 49 RBIs and played the demanding catcher position with skill and intelligence for three varsity seasons from 2009-2011.

But the only numbers that ever mattered for others were these — 5 feet, 10 inches and 170 pounds.

“He had some (NCAA Division III schools) interested in him,” says Valencia head football coach Larry Muir of colleges wanting him to play football. “Obviously, (the lack of interest was) because of size.”

“Real small schools,” says Valencia head baseball coach Jared Snyder of college baseball teams’ interest after high school.

Bishop understood the football part.

The baseball one was a little more difficult to understand because after his senior season in football, he poured all his energy into baseball knowing that a 5-foot-10 catcher was far different than a 5-foot-10 quarterback.

Yet Bishop decided he would prove himself outside of the comfortable surroundings of the Santa Clarita Valley and he played for Moorpark College in 2012.

But he struggled at the plate and ended the season with a .254 batting average and 11 RBIs.

Moorpark then folded its baseball program and Bishop enrolled at COC.

College of the Canyons head coach Chris Cota says he wanted Bishop out of high school, but the player’s desire to prove himself outside of the Santa Clarita Valley outweighed the coach’s desire to land him.

Coming into the 2013 season, Bishop was far less heralded than many of his teammates — including former Valencia High teammates Quincy Quintero — a bounceback from Pepperdine, and Trey Williams — once considered a first-round projected pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Among regulars in the Cougars lineup, Bishop is leading the team with a .429 batting average. He also has a team-high eight doubles, four triples, 42 hits and 28 runs scored.

Why has it come together?

Ask his coaches — present and past. They tell you the kind of person he has always been.

“He’s a grinder,” Cota says. “He keeps grinding away at things. Guys like that seem to find a way to get it done.”

Says Muir: “He was a winner in high school. He had that it factor. He was ultra-competitive and the people around him wanted to win with him. I always thought that separated him.”

Says Snyder: “Great human being. You always hope great things happen for great people. I think with Alex, great things will happen. He’s worked hard to get here. As his coach, I’m so glad to keep seeing his success and him getting better. It was an honor to be his coach and watch him play football. It was an honor to see him play baseball and grow up. I hope his dreams come true. There wasn’t a player robbed more. He should have been awarded a chance to play (four-year college baseball) out of high school.”

It appears he’ll get that chance.

Cota says four-year universities are inquiring on Bishop.

The catcher and former high school multi-sport star could have held on to high school glory or could have felt entitled because of his accomplishments. He also could have sulked because all his hard work in high school amounted to little interest from colleges.

Instead, he worked.

“It sounds cliché, but hard work pays off. It really does,” Bishop says. “Maybe I got complacent in high school, but I put my nose down and worked.”

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