Dingess — the Most Valuable Player of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League South Division this past spring — was a two-time All-SEOAL and all-district performer with the Blue Devils after knocking out 73 hits and 61 RBIs over the past two years.
Dingess — who helped guide the Devils to the 2010 SEOAL South Division crown — completed his final prep season with a .564 batting average, driving in 42 RBIs while producing 44 total hits. Sixteen of those 44 safeties were also extra-base hits.
Dingess — who split time between pitching and playing the outfield — also went 16-for-17 in the stolen base department this past spring. Over the last two years, Dingess has been successful stealing bases on 30-of-32 attempts.
With a multitude of talents on the diamond, the strong-armed righthander (Dingess has been clocked in the mid-to-upper 80s) is excited about beginning his new career as a member of the Norse.
“It’s a great opportunity to play at the next level. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but never really knew if it would ever happen,” Dingess said. “It (NKU) is a great place to play and they have a coach (Todd Asalon) who just won his 500th career game. They’ve had a lot of success and I’m excited about being a part of that.”
Northern Kentucky University — located in Highland Heights, Ky., just south of Cincinnati — is currently a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and the baseball program has won five of the last nine league titles within that division.
NKU recently had two pitchers selected in the MLB Amateur Draft and also won the 2010 GLVC Sportsmanship Award. The Norse have also won five of the last seven GLVC all-sports trophies.
And with a potential change for the better looming on the horizon, GAHS baseball coach Rich Corvin believes that both Dingess and NKU will be a good match for one another.
“They (NKU) are a Division II getting ready to move to a Division I level. With the limit on scholarships, they are starting to look for more two-way guys. And Kyle certainly fits that mold,” Corvin said. “Of all the players I’ve had at GAHS, he might be the most complete five-tool player we’ve produced. He can throw, hit, run the bases and field a position. He may need a little more knowledge of the game overall, but Coach Asalon saw the intangibles that Kyle brings to the table and brought him aboard.”
Dingess knows his versatility will play a big role in his next four years at NKU, even though he is not quite sure where he will be playing. Whatever it may be, Dingess feels prepared for the challenge.
“I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing there. I’ll probably be a dual guy, doing both some pitching and playing in the outfield,” Dingess said. “I’ll need to work on both hitting and pitching at that level, but I feel prepared to play at the next level going in.”
Some other schools — one being Ohio University — tried to get in on the signing sweepstakes, but Dingess says that intangibles ultimately played a large part in him signing with Northern Kentucky.
“I like that it is a big campus, but it is all compacted together for a smaller feeling,” Dingess said. “I have some relatives in that area as well, so it’s not like I’m making a long trek away from everyone I know.”
Having Dingess move on to the collegiate ranks is just another feather in the cap for the GAHS baseball program. Corvin believes that over time, Dingess will represent the Blue Devils well.
“Next to winning a state title, there is no greater feeling than having one of your players continue his career at the next level,” Corvin said. “He’s got a lot of work to do, but he’s got just as good a chance as anybody to make this a successful journey.”
Kyle is the son of Bonnie Dingess of Bidwell and Paul Dingess of Gallipolis. Kyle is undecided on a major headed into the fall.