Mountain-Valley 1A/2A Conference
Evan Gray Signs With L-R
April 25, 2010By ACHS iHigh of Ashe County Huskies
By: Nathan Ham
As another baseball season comes to a close, senior pitcher Evan Gray will continue his career as part of the Lenoir-Rhyne University baseball team.
Gray, a left-handed pitcher, will leave Ashe County, and live the dream of playing sports at the collegiate level. The senior signed his Letter of Intent to play baseball with the Bears beginning in the 2011 season.
"I'm just proud to see that we have somebody here at the high school able to go play at the next level," said baseball head coach Ronnie Pruitt.
"We are excited that we have another athlete that will be playing at the next level. He is the first official signing we have had in the class of 2010," added athletic director Marc Payne.
Gray has had several good performances this season, including his most recent start against Alleghany. Gray pitched 5 innings, gave up just 2 runs and earned the victory in a 13-2 win over the Trojans. The senior pitcher also picked up the win on Tuesday out of the bullpen against Elkin, giving up 1 run relieving starter David Dalessandro.
"I'd just like to thank my parents, coach Pruitt, God, and everybody that has encouraged me," said Gray. "It was something I always wanted to do. I've never thought about quitting playing a sport, so if I have the opportunity to go to college and continue to play a sport, then I'm definitely going to take advantage of it, and I'm lucky for it to be at Lenoir-Rhyne."
His parents were also in attendance at the signing ceremony, and spoke about their son having this opportunity to play college baseball.
"It's overwhelming. It's a blessing, and a humbling honor," said Mike Gray. "We went and visited Lenoir-Rhyne, there were some other schools, but when we got out down there, I felt like as soon as I got out, it would be a good place for him." His mother, Kim Gray, also added that "the recruiting process was very stressful" on her son.
Gray grew up playing baseball, attended several different camps to showcase his talents, as well as competing at the State Games of North Carolina with some of the top baseball players in the state. That helped him get noticed by several coaches and scouts, and gave him different places and opportunities to play college baseball.
"I always had Lenoir-Rhyne pretty high on my list because I knew they were a good school academically and they were a sports school too, so I had a lot of respect for the program," added Gray. "I thought I would fit in from the moment I stepped on campus."
Gray chose the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears over several other schools including Catawba College, Methodist University, Guilford College, Montreat College, Mt. Olive College, Chowan University
"I'm really looking forward to working with Evan at Lenoir-Rhyne next year. Evan is a proven student-athlete who should have a lot of success here. As a left handed pitcher, Evan will bring some needed depth to our pitching staff and I'm hopeful he will make major contributions here," said Lenoir-Rhyne head coach Paul Knight. "Evan is a great student and a perfect fit for the Lenoir-Rhyne academic and athletic environment."