By RENALDO DORSETT
A TRIO of Bahamian high school baseball players have made an impact on the NCAA’s early signing period as they announced where they would continue their careers at the collegiate level.
Tevin Symonette was the latest to add his name to the list when he signed his letter of intent to play this fall for the Lipscomb University Bisons. He joined Byron Murray, who signed with the University of Southern Mississippi and Perez Knowles, who signed with Troy University as the other Bahamians to sign with Division I programmes during the NCAA early signing period which ended November 18.
Symonette, 17, will complete his senior year at Christian Home and Bible School in Mount Dora, Florida, where he is a two-year letter winner. “I love to play baseball. I actually stumbled across baseball in 2006, when after an elementary school basketball practice, my teammates asked me to go to the baseball field with them. It was my first time playing and I loved it. It seemed like a natural fit and I have been playing ever since,” Symonette said on his personal recruitment website. “I have a strong desire to play baseball both at the collegiate and professional level, which is why I began contacting coaches at schools that are strong academic, athletic, and personal matches.”
As an outfielder he was awarded the Rising Star Award as a freshman and CO-MVP award as a sophomore and joined the Orlando Baseball Academy in 2011.
The versatile Symonette was also a two-year letter winner in football and led the team in rushing with 103 carries for 689 yards with six touchdowns while recording 53 tackles during his sophomore season.
Some of his other accolades include a two time Perfect Game USA Underclassmen Preseason All-American Team Honourable Mention, rated a “Tier A” player at the 2012 Baseball Factory at the Sanford National Tryout, was named to “Perfect Game Florida” Qualifiers All-Tournament Team.
“Baseball continues its forward growth as another young Bahamian signs to play Division I Baseball,” said Bahamas Baseball Federation secretary general Teddy Sweeting in a press release. “The 2013 Division I Signing period has been very successful for Bahamian baseball, as we saw the third D-one Baseball signing during the early signing period.”
The three new signees will join the list of Bahamian players which includes Desmond, Aneko Knowles, Sebereon Mackey and Stephen Curtis at Jackson State University, Brandon Murray at the College of Charleston, Ali Knowles at Troy University, Byron Ferguson at Bethune Cookman, Remon Grant at Grambling State University and Theodore Trae Sweeting at Georgia State University. “Over the past five years, 12 Bahamians have signed to D-one programmes, Sweeting said. “Congratulations to the BBF membership for their dedication and preparation of these young men.”