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Will Wright

Played by Thomas Sneed

Will Wright was born with a natural gift for baseball in the whistle-stop town of Newton, South Carolina. Defying his father’s wishes, Will leaves home at 17 to play ball on the other side of the tracks—for the Newton Mill Sluggers. At the outset, mill ballplayers shun him as an outsider—then he starts swatting homeruns.

Will learns to play hard but he also starts to live hard. He makes several destructive choices that finally catch up with him, and the new “Big Stick at Newton” falls from favor as fast as he soared until he hits rock bottom. At his lowest point, Will struggles to answer the question: is there a way back up when you’ve come to the end of yourself?

Thomas Sneed

Playing the role of Will Wright in Milltown Pride, Thomas Sneed says he’s amazed at how much “hurry up and wait” is involved in filming. “There’s a huge amount of time and detail that is involved in setting up a scene.” Thomas has filled minor roles in the Classic Players and in student productions, but this is his first major film role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible with a minor in speech and is currently pursuing an MBA.

“Seeing Will in different seasons of his life—when he’s young and rebellious and later when he has everything that should make him happy—was the most interesting part of playing the role.”

Sneed says he enjoyed learning about the ball field where much of the action was shot. “Ty Cobb actually played there. It’s a cool bit of history.”

Daniel Smitley — Young Will

Daniel Smitley is 12 years old and in the seventh grade. He says he was definitely prepared for playing the role of young Will since he’s played little league baseball for at least five years. Daniel also played the role of young Pip in the Classic Players’ production of Great Expectations last year.

His favorite part of the film was “the baseball part.” He says he also enjoyed hanging out with “Pike” since he and Stephen Hawkey, the actor who plays Pike, were already friends before the film. Daniel’s favorite subject is history, which definitely came in handy playing a character from the 1920s.