High School Spotlight: Team of brothers coach Union High with high hopes

Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 10:48 PM PDT
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VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - Union High School has a Camas zip code but is in the Vancouver city limits and the Titans varsity baseball team is under the leadership of first year coaches who are a pair of brothers.

No Titan hardball team has ever won it all. So what a dream scenario in season one under head coach Lee Hunter.

“Around the field you can just see he has wanted to be here for a long time,” Blake Geffert, senior at Union, said.

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Lee is believed to be the first man of color to lead a varsity baseball program in Clark County.

“Growing up and having to be resilient with a lot of stuff, is probably the strongest piece I carry with me from growing up in this area,” Lee said.

Coach Lee is joined on the staff by his big-league brother, Brian.

“What I really recognized and learned from him as well is just overcoming adversity and not giving up on something that you have a strong passion for and love and something you believe in, and that’s what he didn’t do,” Brian said.

The Hunters are rooted here and graduated from Fort Vancouver High where baby brother Brian, five years younger than big Lee, was selected in the second round of the MLB draft in 1989.

“I think our players are very receptive, and I think they listen to pretty much everything I saw but they are glued in on [Brian],” Lee said.

The speedy Hunter played a decade in the bigs.

“Any question that I might ask, you gotta ask because he is going to have the answer to it, and he welcomes it,” said Dylan Richardson, senior at Union. “He gets upset if you don’t ask him a question.”

The Hunter family business is paying dividends for the Titans of 2023.

“What I am going to do after we win the state championship is I am going to write a movie because this is a good movie story,” Lee said.

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Union is ranked seventh in the state and dreaming of the year end dogpile for the WIAA title day up in Everett at the end of May.

If you think you or someone you know deserves a high school spotlight, please reach out to Nick Krupke at nick.krupke@kptv.com.