It's almost football time in Tennessee.
Former Ringgold baseball player Chase Burke, who is also a die-hard Tennessee Volunteer football fan, said he's looking forward to being even closer to Neyland Stadium this fall.
The 2014 Ringgold High School graduate, and former Tigers' standout in baseball and football, is headed to Johnson University in Knoxville where he will continue his career on the diamond.
Burke, who learned Tennessee Temple University scholarship was no longer valid after the school announced it would be merging with another college in North Carolina, said he can't say enough good things about his future after a painful goodbye with the players and coaches he considered family.
“The guys at Temple were great,” Burke said. “We had a brotherhood and had fun playing together. It was very disappointing to hear we weren't going to get to play together again.”
Burke said although playing for Temple and Coach Greg Bartley was now out of the question, he felt blessed and at ease with his new home.
“I’m really excited about playing at Johnson University,” he said. “ I’ve talked to a bunch of their players. I know the program is on the rise. I hope to help them win a lot of ballgames.”
Burke said Johnson University has “had some tough years” in the past, but is improving.
He said he hopes to earn a starting spot on the baseball team while working towards an education degree to become a teacher. He said he would like to be able to come back and coach at Ringgold one day.
“I just want to go in and complete for a playing spot and have fun doing it,” he said.
Burke said he would like to thank his parents Connie and Eddie, as well as all the coaches who have helped him along the way.
He said he hopes to continue to make them proud.