Thacker Calls Ferrum a Second Home


Photo courtesy of the Athletic Department

Byrce Thacker, junior, takes a swing against Southern Virginia University.

Cody Gibson

Panthers baseball player Bryce Thacker, OF, 3B, P, junior, was the only baseball player last year to receive the award of All-Conference.

“It means so much to be an all-conference player. I am blessed to have received the award,” said Thacker.

People come to Ferrum for different reasons, whether it’s for sports, academics, or a recruiting visit sells the village image that Ferrum tries to show, and Thacker, he’s no different.

“I came to Ferrum because it felt like a second home to me. I felt welcome in the community, and I got a chance to play college baseball here,” said Thacker, a native of Chesterfield, VA. 

When people go to college, it’s to pursue careers and get their degrees to set them up for success later in life, and Thacker is doing the same thing.

“My Major is Business Administration and an emphasis on Sports Management. My life goals are to graduate college, get my degree, get my dream job, and start a family,” he said.

Those are his life goals, but as athletes, people have separate goals on the field. 

Thacker is the same.

“The goal I am trying to achieve is to make the conference tournament,” said Thacker.

When people have all these goals they need some time to escape so stress doesn’t build up or tire themselves out from it. For Thacker, it’s the outdoors.

“My hobbies are hunting, fishing, riding ATVs, and working out,” said Thacker.

Coaches always have players that are put into spots to help the team because of certain traits or skill sets but Thacker is different in Head Coach Ryan Brittle’s eyes.

“Bryce is a ‘Jack of all Trades’  He pitches plays, third base and outfield, and hits for us.  He is the kind of guy every team needs,” said Brittle.

As an all-conference player, it takes more than ability to achieve that goal.

“It is always good to have a guy back that has a high talent level!!  Bryce is more than just talent, though.  He brings a toughness and energy that is infectious among his teammates,” said Brittle.

Coaches always have expectations for players. Sometimes it could be for them to get a certain stat line, but Brittle’s expectations for Thacker are different.

“My expectation doesn’t have anything to do with stats.  My expectation is that he plays hard and helps the team in any way he can,” said Brittle.

Teams most of the time have a leader or type of guy that players look for, and Thacker is a wildcard when it comes to that.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say Bryce is one of our leaders, but from time to time he sure knows how to fire the guys up,” said Jaden Johnson, junior.

In order to play sports, people need some type of drive or competitiveness to beat the team or person across from them, and Thacker takes it next to the level.

“Bryce is one of the biggest competitors we have on the team. He is willing to put his body on the line to make a play for the team and people kind of feed off of that energy,” said Johnson.

In order to be a college athlete, players have to have a certain work ethic to make it this far and continue playing at an elite level. Johnson has taken notice of Thacker’s.

“He is one of our hardest-workers and always wants to find a way to get better, whether it’s in the weight room, on the field, or even in the classroom,” said Johnson.

When people play sports, memories are bound to happen–whether it be from practice or during a game. Johnson has two memories–one from last year and one recent memory of Thacker during a game.

“One memory from last year would be the time he was playing left field, and he quite literally almost ran through the fence trying to catch a ball. Another memory would be from last night against Roanoke as he was just really fired up and it was fun to see him that energized in a really close game,” said Johnson.

Career pitching stats:

ERA:6.03 W:0 L:1 APP:18 GS:1 CG:0 SHO:0 SV:2 IP:34.1 H:40 R:32 ER:23 BB:42 SO:33 2B:10 BF:189 BAVG:.288

Career hitting stats:

AVG:.322 GP:67 GS:42 AB:146 R:22 H47 2B:9  RBI:19 SLG:.384 BB:11 HBP:17 SO:35 GDP:3 OB%.424 SF:3 SH:2 SB:2