By Blake Dykes
For every athlete it is an accomplishment to be placed on the varsity team, however it is even more of an achievement to go beyond and play their sport in college. Six of the the seniors on this year’s baseball team will continue on to play in college next year.
Senior Kyle Neafus’ baseball career dates all the way back to age five.
“I always wanted to get a college scholarship to play baseball. That was my dream. Once I got the offer I knew I had to take it.”
Neafus will be living out his dream at Campbellsville University in Kentucky as an outfielder.
“I’m excited to play in college. It will be a whole new experience and I’ll be able to say I’m a college athlete.”
Although there is pride that comes with being a college athlete, it will not be an extremely easy journey.
“It will be tough as far as balancing schoolwork with games and practices.”
Neafus also realizes all of the opportunities that comes with playing baseball in college.
“It’s going to be an awesome way to meet new people and that will make college a little bit easier.”
Throughout his experience as a dedicated athlete Neafus takes away one important lesson.
“As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that you can’t be great everyday. You just have to learn how to be great that day to help your team.”
Another athletes that will be pursuing his dream playing college baseball is senior Derrick Despain.
“I first started playing baseball at the age of eight at Floyd Knobs Community Club.”
Despain will be attending Anderson University in Indiana and will be playing outfield.
Despain’s goals include being better than the he was the year before and to make the All-State conference team.
“I’m just really excited to play college baseball since it has been a goal of mine since I was about 13.”
To change things up a bit, senior Kyle Sipes will go onto play college baseball as a pitcher for either Hanover or Spalding.
Sipes has been playing since he was six years old and has always aspired to be a college player.
“I have always wanted to play at the next level so it excites me to get the chance to play in college.”
Sipes agrees with Neafus and thinks that the practices, competition, and especially the conditioning will be more difficult.
“My goals haven’t changed too much. Playing college baseball has always been a goal, but when I was younger I didn’t worry about it as much.”
Another senior Cody Sunderhaus has had big ambitions for a long time.
“When I was younger I dreamt of playing professional baseball, but not many players are able to make it to that level.”
Sunderhaus has been playing baseball ever since he could pick up a ball, around 15 years, and plans on going to Rose Hulman. His expectations for playing in college are not quite the same as some of his other teammates.
“I know that playing at the college level is a lot different, but I’ve always played with high caliber players and I think I will be prepared for it. I’m just going to need to work hard in the off season and get bigger and faster.”
On the other hand senior Jacob Snodgrass has more of a complicated journey.
“I’m going to attend Olney Central Junior College this fall. After I committed I had to plan on my major in school and what the school has to offer. After I get done with Olney Central, which is a two year school, I will have to get recruited again to another school. I hope to attend a division one school to end my college career.”
Snodgrass has been playing the game since he was five. He will go on to play shortstop or second base.
“Being a college player means a lot to me. Baseball has been there for me all my life and I can’t wait to see how far it takes me. I’m excited to have the chance to extend my baseball career.”
The last senior that will be carrying on his career to college is Connor Curry.
Curry will be going to the University of Southern Indiana and will play shortstop or second base. He has also been playing for a long time, since the age of five.
“At first I had more unrealistic goals, but after awhile I realized as long as I get a good education and am happy with where I’m at it’s all good.”
While being given the opportunity to play baseball in college is great, there are also some factors to consider.
“I’m just happy I get to play for four more years. It’s been a goal of mine the last couple of years. I’m happy I get to play at a good program close to home.”