LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - There is still some time before baseball season gets here, but it was still a great day for Lufkin baseball as three players have signed their National Letters of Intent to play college ball Wednesday. All three, Parker Ford, Jesse Philp and Trey Cumbie are pitchers, and all three are playing at Division I programs.
Ford signed to play with the Bulldogs at Mississippi State. Ford said he will study mechanical engineering, and is ready to make some noise in the SEC.
"I'm ready for the experience and just the fact that I get to go in front of that many people and do what I love most. I get to play baseball, and go out there and pitch," said Ford. "Going from high school hitters and pitching hitters in the SEC, it's going to be a pretty big difference. I hope I can go there as long as it takes and see where my career takes me from a baseball standpoint.
Philp also signed, committing to take his talents to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Philp has thought about majoring in marine biology or business, but currently is undecided. Philp wasn't surprised to be signing with both Ford and Cumbie.
"It was exciting. We had been playing since we were probably 10 or 11 on the same select teams in the summers. We played all through high school together and it's exciting," said Philp.
Cumbie has been known all throughout the fall season as the Panthers quarterback, but has chosen to pursue the baseball route in college. Cumbie will go from throwing touchdowns to throwing strikes at the University of Houston.
While this commitment will end his football career, he feels he has ultimately made the right choice for his future.
"I love both sports but I feel like baseball gives me a little more advantage. I'm a left handed pitcher. You can do both (sports) in high school, but I feel like in college you probably need to narrow it down to one and I chose baseball," said Cumbie. "I've played football for a long time and I love the sport. Giving it up is going to be tough."
Baseball head coach Jason Stanley said from the first day he saw these three come in as freshmen, he knew they would be able to play at the next level. Stanley said all three are not only talented, but hardworking young men.