Kelley signs with VSU

Published 4:56 pm Thursday, November 18, 2010

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Bainbridge High School senior Drew Kelley signed a baseball scholarship Wednesday with the Valdosta State University Blazers in the hospitality room of the BHS gymnasium.

Wednesday, Nov. 10 was the first day this year’s high school seniors were allowed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to sign baseball scholarships.

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As a junior last spring, Kelley—the Bearcats’ starting catcher—won the team’s gold glove award for throwing out 50 percent of opponents’ base runners who attempted to steal.

He had a solid .288 batting average, with 20 singles and  three doubles.

On Tuesday, June 15, Kelley was chosen as one of the top 100 baseball prospects in the state at a Georgia Dugout Club Top 100 Underclassmen Showcase held at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.

Later in June, Kelley played in talent showcase games in front of over 100 college and 26 major league scouts at Mt. Paran Christian School in Kennesaw.

The Georgia Dugout Club holds tryouts at 12 college campuses across the state each year during June.

BHS Head Baseball Coach Scott Miller and former Bearcats assistant coach Donnie Lee Coxwell both praised Kelley for his hard work and dedication.

“It is the ultimate reward for a lot of different people like parents, teachers and coaches who helped him along the way when a fine young man like Drew signs an athletic scholarship,” Miller said. “It is a credit to his strong athletic and academic ability.”

Coxwell, currently the head baseball coach for the Liberty County (Fla.) High School Bulldogs, worked with catchers when he was on the Bearcats staff and said Kelley’s work ethic was outstanding.

“Drew worked hard every day and I am very happy for him,” Coxwell said.

Following the signing, Kelley expressed his appreciation to his family, Coach Miller and Coach Coxwell for their help and support.

“My family has always been there for me and Coach Miller and Coach Coxwell have taught me the importance of working hard every day in practice or games to get better,” Kelley said.

One of Kelley’s teammates with the Valdosta State Blazers will be his former Bearcats teammate, right handed pitcher Jeremy Coram, who will be a sophomore with the Blazers this spring. The Blazers are coached by Greg Guilliams, who is assisted by his brother, Todd Guilliams.