Two Bobcats sign with Cowley County
Two Basehor-Linwood baseball players will continue their dream beyond high school.
Seniors Jeremy Sheehan and Derrick Bryan are officially headed to Cowley Community College in Arkansas City, Kan. next year after signing letters of intent. They signed in front of friends, family and coaches in the Basehor-Linwood High School library, Wednesday, January 15.
"Baseball is really important to me," Bryan said. "I've been playing since I was little. Baseball is my life."
Sheehan was just as excited to continue his baseball career, and he said Cowley was a step in the right direction for him.
"It's my life," he said. "Life is boring without baseball. Cowley's the best in Kansas, and it's the best place for me."
Both Bobcat seniors hope to use Cowley County as a stepping stone to a higher level of competition. Both said their ultimate goal would be to play professionally.
"I like their program," Bryan said. "They've had good players that have gone there and have gone on to succeed at other places. I want to give myself a chance to play at a big college."
Sheehan has similar goals. He said he wants to go to a good four-year school when his Cowley career is over.
Bryan and Sheehan will be used to success on the diamond when they arrive in Arkansas City. They are key ingredients in one of the best high school teams in the state.
Bobcat coach Curtis Press said the team's success is related to the individual success of Bryan and Sheehan.
"Jeremy is basically our number one pitcher," Press said. "He was the main guy on the mound, and we're looking at him to eat up a lot of innings.
"Derrick was second team all-Metro. I think he hit .543 last year, so he's a qualified hitter. He also pitched a little. We're going to need those spot starts this year. He also plays good defense in left field."
Press said he was also impressed with more than just their talent level, though.
"They are two good young men," he said. "They practice hard everyday. What else can you ask for?"
Cowley County chose to sign Bryan and Sheehan for those reasons, assistant coach Aaron Sanderholm said.
"We looked at their talent level," Sanderholm said. "Both kids fit in our program. They have a high ceiling, so we're excited to see how they improve with us. Both will prosper in our program. And they have a great work ethic."
Cowley County is known in the junior college ranks for its baseball program. The Tigers have won eight straight conference championships. They have been to the World Series five of the last seven years.
The Tigers won back-to-back national championships in 1997 and 1998. In 2001, they took third in the World Series.
Players like Junior Spivey and Travis Hafner have played for Cowley. Spivey is the all-star second baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks while Hafner will take over duties at first base for the Cleveland Indians now that Jim Thome has left.