Baseball season is still more than a month away for Columbia County teams, but one area baseball player has already sealed his future.
Paul Bordon III, a shortstop at Lakeside High School, committed to Gordon College in a signing ceremony Dec. 12.
For the Panther senior, the ability to play at the next level runs in the family.
Paul Bordon Sr., the Lakeside shortstop's grandfather, said he played baseball from 1953-57 in Cuba. After coming to the United States to study at Holmes Bible College in Greenville, S.C., the elder Bordon gave up his baseball career to become a minister. He has passed his faith and his athletic skills on to his grandson.
"He's one of my top fans," the young Lakeside ball player said. "I can always hear him when I'm out on the field."
The proud grandfather is not only a fan but also a mentor. He taught his grandson his secret "Cuban Curve Ball" to use when the situation calls for Bordon to take the mound. The elder Bordon wouldn't reveal details of his secret pitch, but there's no secret how pleased he is with his grandson's play.
"The majority of the time I've watched his games. I'm greatly proud of him," Bordon Sr. said.
Lakeside baseball coach Jay Matthews said the Bordon family support may have helped his starting shortstop in his attempt to play at the next level.
"That was actually one of the selling points," Matthews said. "You don't recruit just the player, you recruit the whole family."
Bordon is the first player to sign at the college level this season at Lakeside. Three Panthers signed letters of intent in the 2005 season.
"Usually it's not uncommon to have someone sign each year," Matthews said. "With Paul I never worried if he would sign. It was more when he would sign."
Before he can head to Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga., Bordon faces challenges in the remainder of his senior year. The shortstop is one of only two returning starters to a Panther team that reached the region championship game last season.
"We're kind of rebuilding," Bordon said. "We've lost seven starters this year so I'm going to try to be a leader."
Lakeside will kick off the 2006 baseball season with a home-opener on Feb. 27 against South Aiken High School.
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