Loveland Magazine file photo of Luke Waddell playing for the Loveland Tigers – ©2017 by David Miller

by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – It’s no secret that here in Loveland there is no shortage of phenomenal athletes. A 2017 Loveland High School grad and nationally recognized baseball player, Luke Waddell, received the news on June 5th that he was drafted in the 32nd round of the MLB Draft to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many celebrated the news voicing how excited they were for Waddell on twitter and facebook, but no one celebrated more than the Loveland Tiger supporters! Below were some of the tweets posted after the 32nd round draft results were released.

The Assistant Principal at Loveland High School said…

Matthew Buis

@LHS_MrBuis

Congrats Luke! @lucas_wadd07

The Georgia Tech Baseball Team said…

Georgia Tech Baseball

@GTBaseball

DRAFTED! Congratulations on Luke Waddell hearing his name in the 32nd round of the @MLBDraft by the @Dbacks

The Loveland High School Tigers Baseball Team said…

LHSTigersBaseball

@LHSTigersBase

Always knew this day was coming since he was 8, but bigger and better things always on Luke’s horizon.

Luke Waddell as a Loveland Tiger in 2017. Loveland Magazine © File Photo by David Miller

Waddell, who was born and raised in Loveland, excelled in baseball, football, and basketball at Loveland High School. Waddell racked up a number of accolades with the Tigers some of the most prominent being baseball honors. In 2017, Perfect Game rated Waddell as the number 3 shortstop and the number 11 overall prospect in Ohio. Waddell also received an All-American Honorable Mention nod in 2017 in addition to becoming the ECC Baseball Athlete of the Year. Waddell, a 4 time ECC first team all-conference selection and 2-time all-state selection, still holds the Loveland High School Baseball record for career games played, hits and doubles.

Waddell did not shy away from other sports in high school just because he was so gifted in one sport, which in his case was baseball. He also lettered in football and basketball at Loveland. In 2013 when the Loveland Tigers Football team grabbed the state championship title, district title, and the ECC conference title, Waddell aided in the Tiger’s success tremendously setting records in career rushing yards, receiving yards, touchdowns, points scored, and the most rushing yards and touchdowns in a single season. In fact the day Waddell broke Loveland High School’s 49-year-old, single-game rushing record he didn’t even realize he did it until record keeper and facilities manager, Kevin Taylor told him after the game. He told Loveland Magazine at the time, “I was honestly shocked. I knew I had a good game, but didn’t know I broke any records. So, it was pretty exciting.” 

Luke Waddell as a Loveland Football Tiger. Photo by David Burig © 2015

Waddell was also named by MaxPreps, second-team freshman All-American in 2013 and first team all-conference by the ECC for all for 4 years of his high school football career. 

The Midland Redskins summer baseball team got the pleasure of having Waddell for 3 seasons before he took off to play collegiate baseball at Georiga Tech. In Waddell’s freshman season with GT in 2018 he played in 42 games starting in 31 of those games. Waddell had quite the impressive stat sheet as a freshman hitting a .283 batting average and posting an on-base percentage of .348. In 2019 Waddell had an even more successful year playing in 57 games hitting a .328 batting average. Waddell’s on-base percentage also improved to a .442. The 2019 results Waddell brought in for the Yellow Jackets earned him 20th best batting average in the entire ACC. 

After years of hard work and dedication to improving his craft, Luke Waddell was selected last Wednesday in the 32nd round of the MLB draft to join the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Although Waddell is thrilled with being drafted he has made the decision to return to Georgia Tech for his junior year season. Waddell’s former coaches, teammates, and classmates are still very excited to hear about Waddell being drafted. Included below are thoughts from Brian Conaster, Loveland High School Athletic Director, and Ken Reed, Waddell’s former high school baseball coach, about Luke Waddell.

“Luke is an incredibly talented player who was a pleasure to coach at LHS. Not only was he one of the most productive players in the state of Ohio, but he was also a great teammate. The Loveland community should be very proud of how well Luke has represented the town,” Ken Reed said.

“Luke Waddell was not only a record-breaking high school stand out multiple sport athlete, but a person of high character in and out of the classroom. Luke always embodies the Loveland core values of respect, responsibility, integrity,  and pride,” Brian Conaster said.

If you would like to follow Luke Waddell’s journey with the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets you can go to the Georgia Tech’s baseball twitter page at https://twitter.com/GTBaseball, their website at https://ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-basebl/, their FB page or Loveland Athletic’s twitter page at https://twitter.com/LovTigers_AD. The Loveland Magazine team will also be following Waddell’s progress if you would like to check out our Facebook page or Twitter page at https://twitter.com/lovelandmagazin.



Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland

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