Met in Preschool and Elementary School, Friends and Teammates For Years Make Plans for Next Year
Four FHS baseball players, Bryce Johnson, Dylan Wilkinson, JT Thomas and Xavier Herring announced in December they will continue to play baseball at the collegiate level. Three of the four boys have been friends since preschool, and all four attended Lanier Middle School together. The four players made the announcement at a signing
ceremony at FHS in December. Their coach, longtime FHS head coach Rick Freeman, credits the boys for their hard work, leadership and persistence in the at times emotional roller coaster that is college recruiting.
Bryce Johnson announced he will play at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. The Division II school approached the left handed pitcher last summer and Johnson was impressed by the coaches and current players. He hopes he will be able contribute in his freshman year. “Bryce is a great kid – always a smile on his face and is a hard worker,” said Freeman. “I expect him to lead this team along with Xavier, JT and Dylan.” Johnson is a two sport athlete at FHS, playing wide receiver and defensive back for the football team in the fall. Bryce credits his pitching coach, Pete Schourek for helping him get to the collegiate level. “He’s really helped me and changed my game. No way without him would I be able to pitch in college,” said Johnson.
Dylan Wilkinson signed with Division I University of Maryland Baltimore Campus. Wilkinson, a third baseman for FHS credits his coaches throughout his high school and younger teams. Wilkinson, along with Johnson, Thomas and Herring has been playing baseball nearly year round on travel teams. His dad, assistant coach and FHS alumni Bill Wilkinson has been with him every step of the way. “My dad has always been my greatest coach and greatest support,” said Dylan. His dad returns the praise. “Dylan and all these boys have been so fun to coach and watch. They are out hitting, lifting or just talking baseball all the time. I am so proud of [all of] them.” Wilkinson is an alumni of Daniels Run Elementary School.
Catcher JT Thomas will play for Division II Frostburg State in Maryland. Thomas was drawn to the school for their coaching staff and program. “JT has been one of our most consistent leaders on and off the field,” said Freeman. “I have no doubt he will be a contributor to Frostburg State.” Thomas, a Providence ES alum, is excited to enter his last year at FHS. He and his teammates feel they have a competitive season ahead. Thomas also credits his coaches both in high school and on his travel team, in addition to his parents for their ongoing support.
Xavier Herring announced he will play for Division III University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Herring, a middle infielder is looking forward to continuing to play baseball at the collegiate level. “It is something I have thought about since I was a little kid,” said Herring, who also attended DRES. He felt the coaches and program at UMW were a good fit. “They were really impressive and I am excited to play for them.” Herring is known by coaches and teachers at FHS as a hardworking, coachable player and student. “He is a great kid,” said Wilkinson. “I have watched him grow up along with my own son [the two met at Daniels Run ES] and I just could not be prouder of him.”
The FHS baseball team will begin their spring season in February with games beginning in March. To see the full schedule, please visit the FHS Athletics website here.