By Kristen Martwinski
On Wednesday, Nicholas Lockhart, a graduating senior at Woodgrove High School, received the phone call he had been waiting for since he was five years old. He had been selected by the Texas Rangers in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
The right-handed pitcher has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember and credits his love of the game to his grandfather and father. “They always pushed me to stick with baseball through all the hard times, and to not give up,” he said.
Although playing professional baseball has always been his dream, as of Tuesday, Lockhart had yet to make a final decision. Last year, he committed to play baseball at Virginia Tech. He said education is important to him and something he believes is worth pursuing.
Lockhart, who also played defensive end on Woodgrove’s football team, is weighing the pros and cons of those two paths.
“If you sign, you give up on the college experience and you give up on all the fun stuff college has and don’t get to work towards a degree,” he said. “On the other hand, if I do sign, I get to work toward the dream I have had my whole life.”
“He’s a guy that’s willing to learn, willing to listen, work hard and his ego is not too big for anywhere he goes,” said Woodgrove Head Coach Rusty Smith. “There’s no ego with Nick. Nick wants to do everything to make everybody else happy and work his butt off to do it, and ultimately that will play well for him no matter what he does.”
With the Rangers expecting draftees to report for training at the end of next week, Lockhart was expected to make his decision by week’s end.