In the Spot Light – Gregg Hipwell [aka Super Athlete]

Eight years ago I first saw Gregg when my son began playing level AAA Baseball for Almaden Little League. At the time Gregg towered over other players by at least 2 feet. Batters were immediately “phsyched out” when having to face him at the plate. He was one of Almaden’s top pitcher’s and still is today. Gregg and my son played baseball at Leland High School this past year and what an amazing season they had. They went to CCS! Thanks to Gregg’s pitching he had two “No Hitter” games. The first against Pioneer on 4-24-09 and the second against Leigh on 5-1-09. His mother, Janine, was intensely watching the game that she didn’t realize it was another “No Hitter” game until we all started cheering.

Mom, “You done good!” “Hmmm” 😉
Q. When you began Little League and saw the bigger guys playing, who was your idol?
A. When I was in Little League, in terms of the guys I played against, all I remember hearing was people talking about guys like Alex Todd or Don Medlinger. Even though these guys were just a little older than me, it still felt like they were so big and important. Then later, having the opportunity to play with these guys in high school was really cool.

Q. You seem like a very quiet and modest guy. I know you won’t brag about yourself so I’ll have to ask you. What is your biggest accomplishment that just makes you so proud?
A. My biggest accomplishment would have to be that “Senior Day” game when I threw the second no hitter. It was just a culmination of a lot of different things that came together at that one moment. Having to go through four coaches during all four years at Leland along with stints on the bench was tough for me. I remember there were 20 guys who tried out for the team in my freshman year but by the end of my senior year, only four of us remained on the team. There was a lot of perseverance that I had to go through. To put forth a performance as remarkable as a no hitter on that final day was something I wont forget.

Q. You just graduated this past year, June/2009, where are you off to college? What is your major? Why did you choose that school? Will you continue to play ball there?
A. I am going to college at Chapman University in Orange County. I will major in business administration while I am down there. I chose Chapman so that I could continue to play baseball. Chapman is a Division III school that has produced over 10 major league draft picks over the past 5 years. I felt it was a place where I can go and play and hopefully contribute right away and than go from there and see what happens.


With his proud parents Janine and Art Hipwell.

Q. I first met your mom back when you were a Freshman, I believe. I remember sitting in the bleachers at a Little League game and she was watching the calls from the umpire. Almost every pitch you made she would not comment but make this noise that sounded like, “hmm”. It was made me laugh because I immediately made the connection that she was your mother. She, as any other mother, just adores her son. You mom is such a wonderful woman, everyone all around loves her because she has this bubbly personality. I know this may be hard to answer but when you first found out your mother had cancer, how did this affect you?
A. It affected me a lot. It was really tough to imagine her not being able to make it to my games. But, she has been really strong about things and has made as many games as she could which I appreciate. It’s also nice to have such a supporting family with my dad and my uncle and grandmas coming to all of my games. It has being kind of inspiring for me to play for my mom though especially when she is not feeling good because I have found that when she feels bad, nothing picks her up more than a good performance from me!

Q. I was at both of Leland’s High School baseball games where you threw a “No Hitter” each time. That is the first in Leland’s history this has ever been done! Congratulations! I can tell you the team was so excited, the fans were all cheering and waiting for that last throw and XXX!!!! The first “No Hitter” game was against Pioneer on March 24, 2009 and the second was against Leigh on May 1, 2009. Looking back at the first game, can you recall what you were thinking on the mound before that last strike? What about the second time around?
A. Before that last strike in the first no hitter, I was so so nervous. I had never come this close before. I hadn’t really had great control that game, so I was thinking that I just have to make a pitch and not screw things up! I also was wondering if everyone else knew because no one had said or acknowledged anything. So after that last strike, I ran to Will and just yelled “Dude, did you know I just threw a no hitter!”. The second game, I knew I was going to finish it off. They brought in a pinch hitter and after I blew the first strike by him, I knew I had it. Before that though, all I could think about was how everyone would make fun of me if I blew it, especially Will! But I had a feeling throughout that game I would get it done because from the first pitch, I could tell it was my day.

Q. What advice can you give to the younger players today?

A. If I have any advice for younger kids, it would be the usual; keep working at it, don’t give up, and always try hard. But if I had to say one thing, it would be to not be afraid to challenge things and stand up for yourself and your abilities. I have always been somewhat headstrong on the field and I don’t back down from any challenge. I really think that has made me who I am today. Just have the confidence that you can beat anyone on the field.

GREGGORY HIPWELL – His very impressive resume!
GPA (Unweighted): 3.8
Sports competed in:

  • Varsity Basketball – 3 years
  • Varsity Baseball – 2 years
  • Team Honors:

  • Basketball / Freshman – Coach’s Award for “Most Potential”
  • Basketball / Sophomore -Coach’s Award for “Best Defensive Player”
  • Received Varsity Letter Award
  • BVAL Certificate of Championship in recognition of participation on Championship Team
  • Baseball / Sophomore – Team MVP for Frosh/Soph baseball
  • Basketball / Junior -Team MVP Varsity Basketball
  • Basketball / Senior-Team MVP Varsity Basketball
  • Baseball / Senior – * Pitched two “no-hitter” games for Varsity baseball
  • Team MVP Varsity Baseball
  • League Honors:

  • Basketball / Freshman – 1st team All-League for JV basketball
  • Basketball / Sophomore -2nd team All-League for Varsity basketball
  • Sophomore of the Year – Varsity basketball
  • Baseball / Sophomore-1st team All-League for Frosh/Soph baseball (only player to receive unanimous vote from all coaches in the BVAL)
  • Basketball / Junior- 2nd team All-League for Varsity basketball
  • Basketball / Junior -”2007 Los Gatos Wildcat Basketball Shootout” Named to All-Tournament Team
  • Basketball / Senior-Co-Senior of the Year for Varsity basketball
  • 1st team All-League for Varsity basketball
  • Selected to play in the 2009 Dons Club Senior
  • Showcase – nominated by coach & selected by committee to represent Leland
  • ”2008 Westmont Basketball Invitational”
  • Named to All-Tournament Team
  • Baseball / Senior – 1st team All-League for Varsity baseball
  • CCS Honors: Basketball / Senior- Honorable Mention Varsity basketball
  • Basketball / Baseball – all years -Outstanding Scholastic
  • Accomplishments while participating in Varsity Interscholastic
    Leadership Contributions:

  • Freshman-Student Recognition Certificate for Great Attitude & Citizenship – awarded by Ms. Kim
  • Junior-Leland Athlete of the month (basketball)
  • Senior-Spirit of DJ Award at DJ Frandson Basketball Memorial Tournament in recognition of sportsmanship & character
  • Captain of the Varsity basketball team
  • Soph/Junior/Senior-Captain of Spring League Basketball team
  • Fresh/Soph/Junior/Senior-Made Leland honor roll for all semesters
  • Senior – President’s Education Awards Program – for Outstanding Academic Excellence
  • Raymond Leland Award – Best All Around Athlete for Leland High School
  • University attending in fall:

  • Chapman University – majoring in business – received academic scholarship
  • gregg-at-home-plate-webcopy

    His best Bud, Will Boring, giving Gregg a congratulatory hug.

    Janine Hipwell - August 19, 2009 - 10:18 pm

    Charlene, Thank you is no way adequate enough for all you have done for Gregg, Art, and I. This article makes my heart swell!! Your photos and the memories captured are priceless for our family!!

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