Dawson County Senior Brandon Markus signed with Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga. to play baseball in front of friends, family and coaches. The catcher and outfielder had multiple offers but felt Andrew would suit his goals.
"It seemed like the best fit for me -- small school, small community," Monkus said. "Just nothing but school and baseball."
Monkus plans to finish up at Andrew and eventually transfer to a four year university. His hitting coach and mentor for the last six years, Matt Pritchett of Denny's Baseball Clinic of Georgia, explained that Andrew has a reputation for signing most of their athletes to other programs upon graduation.
"Andrew does a good job of signing people to four year program after they get done," Pritchett said. "He's got to compete and do well."
Baseball Coach Dwayne Sapp, who has played and coached at the collegiate level, is excited for Monkus' opportunity at Andrew but knows the work it requires.
"Baseball players never do get the down time," Sapp said. "From the time they walk in, they will start practice. The normal life of a baseball player in college is not anything normal.
"You can tell he puts in a lot of hard work and a lot of extra work. You can tell it has paid off," Sapp said. "He is excited about going and playing college ball. Every kid that puts on a ball uniform dreams and aspires, but very few actually get to do this."
"He did it on his own," said Anthony Monkus, Brandon's dad. "He found Andrew. He met the coaches and he made the decision on his own. He's excited about it and looking forward to getting going."
Monkus has played baseball since he was 5 and considers it his first love.
"I think his true passion is baseball," said Jonna Monkus, Brandon's mom.
Monkus credited his parents and coaches for their support.
"My dad has always been there, a little bit hard on me sometimes, but that's always good," Monkus said.
Monkus plans to study sports management or business management while at Andrew.
"I am excited for him. I had the opportunity to coach baseball the last couple of years," said Coach Thad Burgess. "Of all the kids, I don't know if there has been a young man here that has matured more."