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By David Sharp
Knox County senior Braxton McCurren has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois on a baseball scholarship. McCurren made an earlier verbal commitment official with an on line session, then a December 1, 2022 signing ceremony at Knox County High School
Braxton McCurren has played first base and pitches for the Eagles during his three year high school baseball career. Trail Blazer pitching coach Chase Ellis was a witness to the National Letter of Intent signing.
“We are trying to look for a certain type of player at John Wood,” Chase Ellis said. “ OKG stands for Our Kind of Guy. That is basically a good person, a good student and a hard worker.”
“Being a lefty. Being able to move the ball around and keep people off balance. Just a great kid who knows where they want to be in the future,” Chase Ellis said. “Those kids are usually pretty driven. Once we saw the talent piece, it was pretty easy from there.”
Chase Ellis told the Edina Sentinel the Trail Blazers planned to employ Braxton McCurren as a pitcher. “We have 12 to 13 arms returning this season. We were very young this season. We will be in the same situation a year from now when Braxton comes in.”
“We are trying to recruit pitching to take the place of our sophomores now.” John Wood CC is a two year junior college. “we are pretty excited about what we have this calendar year, Coach Ellis said.
“Obviously I was attracted to the baseball aspect at John Wood,” Braxton McCurren said when asked why he chose John Wood to continue his baseball career. I have been to the baseball college showcases.”
“Once the baseball coaches invited me to their baseball facilities and explained how they did things, I decided that it was a perfect fit,” Braxton McCurren said. “It was mainly how much the coaches cared about our education.”
Most college and professional baseball players are either position players or pitchers. Two way players are fairly rare in college baseball. I understood that aspect of it,” Braxton McCurren said when asked if it was difficult to give up playing first base and batting.
“Being a left hander, the options of playing a position are fairly limited,” McCurren said. “I understood that if I was going to go to college and play baseball it was going to be in the pitching role.”
“I would love to keep playing first base and hitting, but if pitching is what is going to take to get me to the next level, I’m going to do it and I am going to be the best I can be at it.”
Braxton McCurren told the Edina Sentinel he plans to study sports management in college. Knox County baseball coach David Cameron commented on his player, and family member signing a college baseball scholarship.
“He has worked hard,” Knox County baseball coach David Cameron said. “He is a tremendous baseball player. I think he will do well. I’m happy for him. He deserves the opportunity.”
“He has got a lot of upside still,” David Cameron said. “He proved last summer that he can be a dominating pitcher in this area. He has come a long way in four years. He has got a lot to be excited for. We are excited about this spring.”