Coach Jeremy Eck sat at the table with a smile. The proud Lancer skipper had just watched four of his seniors sign their national letters of intent. It was a moment shared with only a small group of family and close friends. The gym was silent. Somewhat refreshing for these key contributors of Loyalsock’s back to back PIAA State Championship teams who are used to being in the spotlight. Just four high school teammates sitting at a table decked out in their future collegiate gear- officially accepting scholarships to play major college baseball. Unprecedented.
Coach Eck did his best to explain, “We are blessed to have an opportunity to coach such a great group of kids. It makes life pretty easy when you have exceptional athletes who strive for greatness. It’s pretty unique that our ‘Big Three’ chose ACC schools and I can’t wait watch them compete against each other. Academically you won’t find a better conference than the ACC. And throw in another heading to Ship and this is something that you rarely see at a small school in PA.”
Every youngster dreams of receiving that college scholarship. But very few players from our area have ever signed. Several teams have gone on some impressive runs but how many actually make it to the big time when they’re done? What makes this unprecedented is that all four of these players are on the same baseball team. We may never witness this again at any area school regardless of size. Most are fortunate to have one “blue chipper” every decade or so. Sock has four this year alone. Three of them will be playing in the ACC just miles apart on Tobacco Road.
Kyle Datres is one of the most decorated athletes to ever play in Lycoming County. He excels on the gridiron, the hardwood as well as the diamond. Kyle has been named All State in all three scholastic sports. The “kid that can do anything” will attend the University of North Carolina next fall. He is thrilled to be a Tar Heel. “Sure I love football and basketball, but baseball has always been my favorite since day one. I knew UNC was the place after my official visit. Chapel Hill is amazing and that’s where I want to continue- both athletically and academically.”
The Tar Heels have established themselves as a national power. So it’s fitting that Kyle will be playing with one of the best baseball programs in the country. Kyle has achieved so much yet remains humble and focused on becoming a great player at the next level. I don’t have room for all of his individual accolades but what makes Kyle stand out personally is his ability to take over and do whatever it takes to win in anything he does. A true gamer and one of the best I have ever seen.
“Kyle has accomplished just about everything at the high school level. I mean EVERYTHING. There are no words to describe what he’s done,” Coach Eck adds. “It doesn’t matter if its football, basketball or baseball, Kyle is going to give you 150% and most of the time he will single handedly put his team into a position to be successful. He’s a tremendous leader and one of the best athletes to ever come out of our area. I won’t be surprised to see Kyle on the big screen in Omaha at the College World Series someday.”
Jimmy Webb has dazzled us over the years with his exceptional base running, incredible catches, and timely hits. The 6’1 200 lb outfielder will attend Wake Forest University, another premiere school in the ACC. Jimmy, like all of Sock’s four signees, is a tremendous student and is looking forward to becoming a Demon Deacon, “It’s an awesome feeling. Wake Forest made me feel right at home. Although this day has been in the works for awhile- it feels great to finally make it official. We’ve all been playing together ever since we were kids. It’s a great day for all four us and our families.”
It’s tough to put into words what Jimmy has accomplished as a scholastic player. The All State Webb has over 110 career hits and has made some of the greatest defensive plays in recent memory. Jimmy is a grinder and he always finds a way to perform at the highest level when it matters most. The senior has hit over .500 in his last 8 state playoff games.
“Jimmy has a lot of natural ability, but he also is one of the hardest workers we have,” praised Eck. “Not many kids have the desire to get in the batting cage at 10PM to perfect his swing the night before a game. Jimmy has put his heart and soul into getting here today and he truly deserves it. He is a special player and Wake Forest is getting a great kid who will leave it all out on the field.”
Luke Glavin sat out most of the 2014 season due to serious arm injury. But the youngster has battled back and is determined like never before. Luke will attend Duke University, another ACC program on the rise. The 6’2 205 lb pitcher was lights out in the 2013 Eastern Finals versus Salisbury. Glavin threw a gem and held an explosive team to just 5 hits. Luke was relieved his day finally came and is one proud Blue Devil, “My arm feels great and I can’t wait to get back on the mound come spring. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that Duke stuck with me during last year. It’s always been my dream to play somewhere in the ACC. There are so many people to thank.”
“We all had concerns about Luke based on last year’s injury. You never know what’s going to happen,” explained Coach Eck. “But I’m glad that Duke stuck to their commitment and think they are getting a very special kid. Luke will have a great opportunity to help their program get to the next level and also get a world class education.”
Evan Moore will be heading to Shippensburg U next fall. The hard working 6’1 195 lb catcher will join a squad that has participated in 2 of the last 5 Division 2 Baseball World Series. “I was really impressed with Ship’s facilities. The coaching staff was great. They are constantly preaching trust and that is very important to me.”
“I couldn’t be happier for Evan. Here is a young lad who played JV early in his career but he kept working hard and developed his skills to earn his spot. He became our go to guy and has never looked back. Evan was very instrumental in both of our state title runs. He had one of the better performances defensively behind the plate in the 2014 title game by throwing 3 base runners out at 2nd base.”
“Those three guys are ridiculous,” Evan smirked while pointing to his fellow signees. “They are so talented. But it’s just not them. We have an incredible program and it’s been an amazing ride. I am just doing what I can to enjoy all of this. Today is another chapter but somewhat of a relief. We can now concentrate on our senior years and getting back to states.”
Congratulations Kyle, Jimmy, Luke and Evan on a job well done. Best wishes on your upcoming baseball season and collegiate careers. Enjoy every moment and continue to make us proud. Major props to you and your families. What a joy it’s been to watch you grow and develop. Unprecedent