(Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)
Kids grow up playing sports dreaming of bigger days.
They dream of playing in the big leagues, hitting home runs, and being the hero.
On Thursday morning, Starkville High School senior Nick Brooks, took a step toward reaching his dream of playing college baseball as he signed his letter of intent with East Mississippi Community College.
âMan, this is a dream come true for me,â said Brooks. âIâve always wanted to play college baseball.Â It is just something that I want to pursue later in my life.Â I have an opportunity to go to a school like EMCC, baseball and academically, it is just a good fit.â
As his head coach watched with family and friends on hand for the ceremony, it was easy to see he was proud of his young player.
âIt is always good to see your players move on to the next level,â said SHS head coach Danny Carlisle. âTheyâre getting a nice player. He plays with a lot of intensity.Â He knows and loves the game.â
Brooksâ natural talent should make him a true five-tool player for the Lions.Â He has the ability to add pop to the lineup while adding speed to the defense.
âHe is just a phenomenal athlete,â said EMCC head coach Chris Rose. âHe hits for power, heâs a plus runner and he has some intangibles.Â He is an intelligent player, and an intense player.Â A lot of things youâre looking for, he brings to the table.Â We are just very excited about getting an outstanding player from the local area.â
A sense of gratitude was present with Brooks as he signed.Â He knows this day almost didnât take place.
Last season as a junior, Brooks was dismissed from the team. According to him, he just didnât handle things the way that he should have. To his credit, he treated the time away from baseball to change his outlook on life.
âIt was a big turning point,â he said. âI feel like it happens in everybodyâs life at some point and with it happening as early as it did, it really slowed me down to make me realize I needed to prepare myself for bigger and better things. I am a better person than what I had acted out to be.â
âI think last year was a real learning experience for Nick,â said Carsile. âThe maturity factor is going to come into play during his senior season.Â He just understands life so much better.Â He is a guy who followed the old saying, âmake lemonade out of lemons.â
Now that his decision is behind him, Brooks feels a sense of relief and is ready for his senior campaign to get going.
âIt relaxes me a lot because it lets me know that Iâm capable of a lot,â Brooks said. âThings in life arenât always easy. It comes from hard work.Â This just makes me want to work harder in the weight room and being a better person.â
The Yellowjackets will open spring practice the first week of February as they gear up for Carlisleâs final season.
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