Baseball players crowded into the media center with family and friends at Dawson County High School last month to watch senior Brody Chester sign to play baseball next year for the West Georgia Tech Golden Knights.
"It is a great day for Dawson County High School. It's a better day for West Georgia Tech and it's the best day for Brody. We are very proud of what he has accomplished," said Dawson County High School Athletic Director Grady Turner during the March 30 signing.
Though the West Georgia Tech program is only four years old, head baseball Coach Dwayne Sapp thinks it's a good move for Chester.
"It's a good school for Brody to go and get his feet wet and get college experience under his belt and learn from a very good coach as far as knowledge of the game and stuff like that," Sapp said.
The head coach for the Golden Knights is Todd Pratt, former catcher for the Atlanta Braves.
West Georgia Tech's athletic program is based in Waco though the school has multiple campuses around Georgia including those in Carroll, Douglasville, Newnan and LaGrange.
Chester, who has played baseball since he was three years old, sat with his teary-eyed mom as she talked about the sacrifice to get him to this point.
"It's been a long road," Karen Chester said. "We've played ball since you were very little and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
"This is what we have worked for. I don't want to see it come to an end."
According to Sapp, it doesn't have to.
"He puts in a lot of work. He should be able to accomplish and move on from there to another level if he so desires. I know it's exciting for them and exciting for him. Any time that a kid gets an opportunity to move on and play at another level-no matter what level-I know it's exciting," he said.
Chester makes the third player out of his class to sign to play baseball at the next level.
"I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play baseball. I'd like to thank my parents for always making sure I was at the games on time, always making sure I had a ride, washing my uniform," Chester said just before he signed.
The Tigers are currently second in Region 7-AAA.