Keeping it all in the family… Dillard signs with Milligan following parents footsteps

Published 1:12 am Friday, November 15, 2019

If it has anything to do with a baseball, Karson Dillard is ready, willing, and more than able to step into any role on the field that a coach needs him at.
That drive along with his skill set is what has set Dillard apart and as a result, the Cyclone catcher/pitcher will be taking those same skills down the road to Milligan as a member of the Buffaloes after graduating EHS in the spring.
The campus is no stranger to Dillard as he follows in the footsteps of both his mother and father who are Milligan alumni.
“I just love the campus. Dad went there and mom went there and I have been there for Homecoming a lot and I really like it,” Dillard said.
The Cyclones have been experiencing tremendous results on the baseball diamond for the last three years and Dillard has been in the middle of that success.
He credits his coaches for teaching him more than baseball.
“They have worked with me nonstop,” Dillard stated. “They have taught me how to be a man and have taught me about Christ. They have taught me a lot to make my skills better.
“Coach Presnell has helped me understand the stress and pressure you have – it puts more on you and you have to be able to take that away and really be able to compete through that.”
Milligan will be looking at Dillard to help out behind the plate and on the hill, but there is still a little business that Dillard and his Cyclone team want to mark off their bucket list this season.
“Win the state,” Dillard stated emphatically.
Dillard took a moment to reflect on how the coaching staff at Elizabethton has played a major role in making him the player he is today.
“Coach Presnell has taught me how to be a leader and how to handle adversity and to be a better man. Coach Diaz, my catching coach, has taught me everything about catching and has worked me a lot off to the side to help me get to where I am,” Dillard continued.
“Coach White has helped me to be more confident in the box hitting. Coach Casey taught me how to throw strikes more consistently. And Coach Dillard, my dad, has basically taught me everything.”
Presnell was asked to describe to a Milligan baseball fan exactly what they are getting in a Karson Dillard.
“Man, you guys got a steal. You are getting a guy that has Division 1 talent and absolutely D-1 potential in the next two to three years. You have a guy that I think is a very dynamic player that is hitting from the top immediately type of guy for Milligan,” stated Presnell.
“He is also going to be touching the baseball every play behind the plate. He can pitch for you, he can play second – you basically have a Swiss Army Knife type of guy.
“Once again, I think that he will carry on the Dillard legacy over there. I think that is critically important and that is what Coach Barnett is trying to do is cash in on the Milligan legacy of having good, solid baseball teams.
“If you were going to build anything like that, Karson Dillard would be my first pick.”
Presnell evaluated the progression Dillard made from his first season to his breakout season last year as a junior helping to lead the Cyclones to the state tournament in Murfreesboro.
“He has been a guy that will do anything you ask to the nth degree,” Presnell said. “The first time that he played was when Evan Perkins got his thumb sprung behind the plate and we had to move Ethan Eggleston behind the plate and put Karson at second.
“There was never a big-eye moment for him. He had three or four putouts that game, a couple of sacrifice bunts, and a stolen base. He was there from the beginning and while his roles were small in his freshman and sophomore year, it was setting him up for the year he had last year.
“He went from being a little, skinny guy to a guy that had some muscle and a guy who is willing to lead no matter what we ask,” Presnell concluded.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox