By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published November 2, 2018
ROSWELL—During halftime of Blessed Trinity High School’s Oct. 26 football game, Matt Skole, a member of the class of 2008, was joined on the field by his family; Brian Marks, school president; Cathy Lancaster, school principal; Andy Harlin, baseball coach; and athletic director Ricky Turner as his baseball jersey, #25, was retired.
Skole, who played baseball all four years, held down the third base position every year, except his junior year when he played second base. Skole was the starting third baseman on the school’s 2006 state championship baseball team. He was the 2008 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hitter of the Year, the 2008 Fulton County Player of the Year, and still holds the school record for the most homeruns and hits in a season.
“Matt hit a school record – 16 homeruns his senior year, but it wasn’t by accident,” said Harlin, Skole’s former high school coach. “He was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. He took the best batting practice and he had an advanced approach at a very young age.”
Skole played collegiate baseball at Georgia Tech where he was named first team All-American as a freshman in 2009. In 2010 Skole was named first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and he was the captain of the baseball team. Skole belted 47 home runs during his college career.
Skole was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round of the 2011 Major Leage Baseball draft. In 2012 he was named Minor League Player of the Year for the Nationals. In 2016 he received the Gold Glove Award in AAA baseball.
Skole signed with the Chicago White Sox, of the American League, during the 2018 season and made his major-league debut on May 28. During his first at-bat, he had a hit on the first pitch. Skole hit his first major-league home run during his second at-bat. Coach Harlin noted that Skole’s success is the direct result of hard work.
“It was awesome to have my family with me as my jersey was retired,” said Skole. “To have been a part of the first baseball team to win a state championship at Blessed Trinity, and to see how well baseball and the other sports are doing today makes me proud and honored.”