Decision to return easy for Howell
AUBURN | Butch Thompson loves having Kason Howell on his roster. In fact, the Auburn coach said that if he were coaching for 20 more years, he would want the center fielder playing on his team.
Luckily for Thompson and the Tigers, Howell decided to come back for his fifth season as the quarterback of the outfield. So, with the option of moving on or returning for one more ride, how long did it take Howell to make that decision?
"I didn't mull over it too long," Howell said.
The player took his coach's advice by going to the beach right after Auburn's season-ending loss in Omaha and taking two or three weeks to ponder his future. Howell knew he had a little work to do to earn his degree, but another shot at ending the season with a win in the College World Series was a significant factor in his choice.
"I really wanna be a part of the first team that wins a national championship here," Howell said. "And I couldn't live with myself if, you know, I wasn't gonna be able to be a part of that or didn't have the chance to be a part of that."
Howell was part of a group of seniors with Brody Moore and Carson Skipper, leaders on last year's team that defied expectations, helping Auburn reach Omaha for the second time in three full seasons. With those two gone, others have stepped up with Howell to maintain leadership roles, including Cole Foster, Nate LaRue, Bryson Ware and Bobby Pierce.
He's working on being more consistent overall, especially at the plate, after hitting .287/.385/.402 in 65 games last season. Howell's play in centerfield was almost perfect, putting up a .988 fielding percentage. And the Argyle, Texas native is confident that there are even better days ahead.
"I've been here a long time and done a lot," he said. "I still think I have more to do and more to give to this program."