Grant Hegwood is officially a Shorter University Hawk. The Sonoraville senior committed to the Rome-area school on Thursday at Sonoraville High School.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Hegwood said. “It’s always something I’ve dreamed of playing college baseball and I’m glad that I’m blessed with the opportunity to do that.”
Hegwood said one of his deciding factors in committing to the NCAA Division II university is when he had an opportunity to play at Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex, the home turf of Shorter University’s baseball team.
“I never forgot playing there,” Hegwood said. “I’ve always dreamed about playing at a place like that. It was a beautiful campus and I’m glad I got the opportunity.”
During his time with Sonoraville baseball, Hegwood was a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder.
Hegwood’s senior season resulted in a .325 batting average, along with 26 hits, seven doubles and 21 RBIs. Defensively, he recorded a .984 fielding percentage.
Sonoraville Phoenix baseball head coach Daniel McArthur said he will miss Hegwood both on and off the field.
“Just from a stats standpoint, getting big hits, covering ground in the outfield (and) playing first base,” McArthur said. “I think more than anything, losing a type of kid like Grant is going to hurt. His leadership, the way he conducts himself, … I know a lot of our younger guys really look up to him.”
McArthur said one area where he has seen Grant grow is his leadership qualities.
“When he first came in, he was real quiet,” McArthur said. “(He) kind of came out of his shell a little bit (and took) the reins on some stuff. It’s been fun to watch.”
Hegwood said the most important lesson he has learned over the course of his high school baseball career was working hard delivers results.
“You just have to keep grinding through it,” Hegwood said. “It will get hard sometimes, but never give up.”
McArthur said he thinks local colleges are taking note of kids who are not only athletically-gifted, but excel in the classroom as well.
“They’re understanding we’re going to give them a high-quality athlete and well as a high-quality kid,” McArthur said.
Hegwood’s signing ceremony was attended by family, friends, coaches and Sonoraville administrators.
“They’re the reason I’m here today,” Hegwood said. “I’m so thankful for all of them and I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am for them. They’ve truly changed who I am and made me want to be a better person.”