Rice, Stevens sign to play baseball at Rio Grande;
LOUISA, KY – Two of Lawrence Co.’s baseball athletes signed letters of intent to further their playing career at the collegiate level last week. Seniors Clark Rice & Brandon Stevens both signed on the same day to play baseball for the University of Rio Grande in the LCHS library in front of friends and family.
“It’s a big day for Lawrence Co. High School and for our baseball program, more importantly it’s a big day for two outstanding families,” said LC head coach Travis Feltner. “Brandon is a living testimony to what a great work ethic can be and someone who will sacrifice and be committed to something to be able to excel. I’m confident that Rio Grande is getting an outstanding young man and a good ball player & more importantly a man of character.”
“Clark’s presence on what he brings to our program will be missed. As a middle school kid I’ve never seen anyone as determined as Clark was to get onto the playing field,” said coach Feltner. “He would sprint up Bulldog Lane, down behind our left center field parking lot and into the locker room…..he would actually beat some our high school players. I want to thank Rio Grande coach Warnimont for putting his faith into these two men. I’m pretty confident that you won’t be disappointed, both are outstanding young men of character and that will take them farther than anything.”
Both Brandon & Clark have been playing side-by-side in a LC Bulldog uniform since middle school and have seen many players move on to play collegiate ball and motivated them to move on themselves. These two young men have won District & Regional Championships and also played in the State Tournament in Lexington, KY.
“The beginning of the season I started getting some calls, I started getting more focused and thinking there could be a possibility this can happen. That’s always been my dream to play college baseball,” said Rice. “When I heard that Brandon was being recruited also, I knew in my heart that was the place to go,” said Rice. “I had already been up there and practiced with the team, met the players and coaches and the atmosphere felt like I was still at LC.
Along the way for Brandon during his playing days in high school, some folks thought this day would never happen. “It’s about how hard you work, how bad you want to get better. You dream about playing college ball and being at the next level but you have to do something to make it happen,” said Stevens. “Our great coaching staff has pushed me to become better and had me do things that I thought I couldn’t ever do on the field. I want to thank them for pushing me to the limit.”
Rio Grande head coach Brad Warnimont was present to witness both Brandon & Clark’s signings. Warnimont, in his 12th season as the Redstorms head coach, took his team in 2010 to their first Conference Championship since 1978 and first appearance in the National Championship. The Redstorm finished the 2013 season with a record of 36-20 and are in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Warnimont has four teams in his 22 year career…….Bethany College, Ashland University, Salem International, & Rio Grande with a combined record of 573-514.