The Shorter Hawks are getting a pair of seasoned Rockmart players and South Georgia State University is getting a third after a trio of seniors from the Jackets baseball team signed on the dotted line ahead of a special night for the team.

Jonathan Suppes and Luke Queen will be playing together at Shorter, and Logan Shelton signed with SGSU — a junior college — to begin their college baseball careers.

Shelton said he especially looked forward to the junior college experience in order to propel him onward to a four year school if his career with the Hawks.

{span}”That had a lot to do with it,” Shelton said. “But it also felt like home.”

He’ll be working off the mound with the Hawks as a relief pitcher, and plans to study criminal justice and wants to ultimately go into wildlife management as a game warden. He’s the son of Kyle and Rachel Shelton.

Shelton said the game is one that “makes me happy when I’m on the field, on the diamond. I’ve played it my whole life.”

Queen and Suppes are both headed to Shorter University, up the road in Rome. The pair both are glad to be staying close to home, but Queen in particular was attracted to the Hawks’ Christian mission off the field.

”I wanted to make it a big thing for me to go to a Christian school,” Queen said. “Christianity is a big thing in my life. I went and toured, and felt like it was a nice campus. They like baseball, but at the same time they want you to be a good Christian first.”

{span}Queen, the son of Todd and Joy Queen, said he’ll be studying history in hopes of becoming a history teacher and being able to coach players like himself on the field in the years to come.

He said he loves the “ups and downs” of baseball, and that drives him to continue playing at the college level and potentially beyond.

“You aren’t always going to do good, and you’re not always going to do bad,” Queen said. “It’s like a roller coaster that keeps you going up and down. I like that.”

“It’s a testament to them, the job they’ve done in the classroom and the hard work they’ve put into the weight room, the off-season programs, and just buying into what we’ve done “ Yanzetich said. “I can’t be more proud of them.”

Suppes in his decision with Shorter said he was happy to be close to home and near his family and a home cooked meal when he really needs one. The senior pitcher will remain working on the mound.

The son of Scott and Nan Suppes, he plans to study mathematics at Shorter and eventually wants to teach and also coach like Queen when his career playing is over.

Head Coach Kenny Yanzetich was proud of his players as they made their commitments official on April 12. He said his belief that players are getting chances away from high school to play is the additional experience against top-tier programs early on in their high school careers, which means they can show off their talents in wins and sometimes losses to bigger teams.

It is also about the team working together as one, he added.

“Going on trips, and providing them an opportunity to bond together is just part of it,” he said.