Greenbrier baseball coach Chris Wilkins isn't as interested in what his players do under direct observation as he is in the other times. He believes true character is revealed without supervision.
"As a coach, you always want to feel like you could turn your back on your players and have them still work," Wilkins said. "You can't possibly have enough eyes out there to watch everybody every second."
On Wednesday afternoon, seniors Jake Sandlin and Rex Davis signed letters of intent to play baseball at the collegiate level. Sandlin, a middle infielder, will attend Georgia College & State in Milledgeville, while Davis will pitch for Savannah (Ga.) State University.
That the pair signed on the same day, and even together in one sitting, was fitting because they are similarly hard-working players, Wilkins said.
"Both of them have a work ethic," he noted. "It doesn't matter who's watching. It doesn't matter what they're doing. They're going to do it with everything they've got."
Sandlin has started at second base for the past two years, but might slide over to shortstop after the graduation of standout Ben Morgan. Wherever he plays, he says he's ready for a leadership role during his senior season.
"We're going to have to scratch and claw because we had a lot of talent in last year's class," Sandlin said.
"This year, we're going to have to earn everything that we get. As a leader on this team, I want to make sure that we earn absolutely everything."
One of Sandlin's primary goals in choosing the right school was to find a program with a pedigree similar to Greenbrier's. He found it with the Bobcats.
"I wanted to pick a program that wins every bit as much, if not more, than the program I'm at right now," he said. "I feel Georgia College & State has every chance to win at the highest level of the leagues they play in and on a national level."
The Bobcats play in the Peach Belt Conference, alongside Augusta State University. They have made the NCAA Tournament field in three of the past four seasons.
Meanwhile, Davis will be a part of a program that's getting a fresh start in some ways. The Tigers, which compete in Divion I, are in the process of putting in a new baseball field.
Davis will get the opportunity to be in the starting rotation as a freshman.
While the baseball side is important, he noted that the primary selling point for him was a particular track offered at the school.
"What interests me is the fact that there's a Georgia Tech track," said Davis, who plays third base and right field when he's not pitching. "I can go to school there and receive my diploma from Georgia Tech.
"I'll also be able to play Division I baseball," he added.
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