As the three young men sat in front of a large crowd in the Houston County lunch area, one of the first things that was noticeable was the large rings that all three had on their fingers.
The high school rings celebrate a baseball state championship that Houston County won last year.
On Friday afternoon, Hunter Phillips, Andy Moore and Josh Profit all signed national letters-of-intent to continue playing their chosen sport. Houston County has had 18 players sign college scholarships in the past six years.
“I wear the ring every day, and honestly it’s one of the first things I put on,” said Phillips, who signed with Georgia Southern. “It represents the bond that we have as a team and how proud we are to win a state championship. I know that I would not be here without Andy and Josh, and it was very important that we signed together.”
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Phillips also made visits to Georgia, and Alabama could not lure him away from joining the Eagles.
“I pretty much have talked about going to Georgia Southern since my freshman year, and it’s really a dream come true,” said Phillips, who hit .377 last season and won seven games on the mound. “Statesboro just felt right to me, and Georgia Southern plays good, hard-nosed baseball. And as far as the chemistry among the team, well, it felt a lot like it does here at Houston County, so that made it even better.”
Moore chose to sign with Georgia Southwestern for much the same reason.
“Americus is a small town, and I am basically a small-town type of guy,” said Moore, who hit .336 in his junior season. “I really wanted to play somewhere that my family could get to easily, and I think I could hit there right now, so I am going to try and play as a freshman. They have been in a rebuilding mode, but they are recruiting people who fit into the chemistry of the team, so I am very excited about that.”
Profit actually didn’t decide to sign with North Georgia until Tuesday.
“I had visited last week, and I felt like it was the place for me to be,” said Profit, who hit .337 last season. “I had some other looks, and I thought about waiting, but North Georgia was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. It was also very important to sign with Hunter and Andy because we have gone from being little 5-year-olds to state champions and have always played together.”