Burleson Centennial pitcher Casey Shane became the first athlete in the school's three-year history to sign a national letter of intent, one of many area athletes to ink their name Wednesday, the first day of the fall signing period.
In a weird twist, Shane, who will attend Texas A&M, has not played a regular-season varsity game for the Spartans.
"It's pretty ironic, but I worked hard all this summer, I got to play in a lot of big tournaments in front of a lot of scouts, my name got around and I got a good scholarship," Shane said.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander, who, according to Spartans coach Matt Walden, possesses a 90-mph-plus fastball, a good slider and a change-up, transferred to Centennial last year from Burleson High with the hope of taking a firefighter course.
The class ended up being canceled due to lack of participation. Since the transfer was already accepted, Shane decided to stay at Centennial, forcing him to forgo his junior season of varsity ball.
"I played JV the first season and it was challenging, kind of boring, but I got called up for the playoffs," Shane said. "We went three rounds deep and the first round, they had to approve me. The second and third rounds, I got to play and I pitched in relief in both of those series."
The lighter load might have been a blessing in disguise since Shane had plenty left in the tank for a whirlwind "summer break."
Shane had a hard time recalling all the tournaments and showcases he participated in during the summer and early fall but estimated he took part in three or four showcases, six to seven tournaments and the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He traveled from coast to coast, auditioning at sites as close as Weatherford and as far as San Diego, Minnesota and Jupiter, Fla., in hope of earning a scholarship.
"A lot of the attention came from playing in the Perfect Game events, that's like the biggest scouting company," Shane said. "They set up tons of time at the showcases for scouts to come out and watch you and some of the best players. I wouldn't have been recruited if it hadn't been for Perfect Game, playing in the Perfect Game All-American Classic and all that."
Shane's hard work paid off as schools such as Arizona, Texas A&M and Texas Tech began fighting over him. He narrowed his choice to A&M and Tech before choosing to become an Aggie, saying the opportunity to play SEC baseball while staying closer to home sealed the deal.
"It's huge, they're making it a big deal that I'm signing and it's an honor to be the first ever at the school [Centennial]," Shane said. "It's a part of history."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
Tyler Alexander, Southlake Carroll, TCU
Vale Canada, Haltom, Weatherford College
Casey Shane, Burleson Centennial, Texas A&M
Nathan Bowser, Fort Worth Country Day, The Citadel
Leyton Hammonds, Richland, Oklahoma St.
Kimani Jackson, Arlington Seguin, La.-Lafayette
Brandon Parrish, Arlington Seguin, TCU
Jeremy Senglin, Arlington Bowie, Weber St.
Greg Wesley, Arlington Seguin, North Texas
Ashley Ferguson, Arlington Bowie, Texas Southern
Maya Hawkins, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Rice
Kami Mickens, Southlake Carroll, Boston College
Lili Thompson, Mansfield Timberview, Stanford
Hayden Fredrick, Mansfield, Louisiana Tech
Andre Garcia, Mansfield, New Mexico
Matthew Gilchrest, Southlake Carroll, Auburn
Corbin Kasten, Southlake Carroll, Texas Tech
Kelly Martin, Mansfield Legacy, Midwestern St.
Luke Neeley, Mansfield, Baylor
Jessie White, Mansfield, Stephen F. Austin
Taylor Brown, Hurst L.D. Bell, Abilene Christian
Samantha Montes, Burleson, Baylor
Devon Walter, Southlake Carroll, UT Tyler
Briana Walker, Mansfield Legacy, Tulsa
Brittany Walker, Mansfield Legacy, Tulsa
Swimming and diving
Ryan Evans, Mansfield, BYU
Bryce Klein, Southlake Carroll, SMU
Sarah Musselman, Mansfield Legacy, Alabama
Kira Schlosberg, Aledo, Air Force
Lindsay Schultz, Southlake Carroll, Houston
Meagan Thompson, Mansfield, TCU
Emily Zapinsky, Southlake Carroll, Alabama
Remy Bucknor, Euless Trinity, Indiana Wesleyan
Karis Cullen, Mansfield, Hardin-Simmons
Kate Dunlap, Southlake Carroll, LSU
Courtney Ensch, Southlake Carroll, Texas Tech
Taylor Gruenewald, Southlake Carroll, Cal Poly
Kersten Kober, Southlake Carroll, Kansas State
Mallory Powell, Aledo, Lubbock Christian
Morgan Rupp, Mansfield, East Texas Baptist
Mallory Sanders, Mansfield, East Texas Baptist
Regan McGuire, Flower Mound Marcus, TCU
Briana Sharratt, Aledo, UT Arlington
Sara Smith, Aledo, Harding University
Avery Stephens, Southlake Carroll, Ga. Southern
Christiana Tavo, Euless Trinity, Indiana Wesleyan
Lauren Wish, Mansfield, Hardin-Simmons
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