06/11/09 — Wooten-Gourley enjoy draft day

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Wooten-Gourley enjoy draft day

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 11, 2009 1:50 PM

Dreams came true for Eastern Wayne teammates Walker Gourley and John Wooten late Wednesday afternoon.

The Warrior duo was selected in the Major League Amateur baseball draft -- Gourley was picked in the 13th round (385th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Wooten went in the 20th round (594th) to the San Diego Padres.

"It's truly a blessing to play this game and today was a dream come true," said Gourley. "There are so many people to thank. My parents, Coach (Jabo) Fulghum, Coach (Brad) Reaves, all of my teachers ... I know I'm forgetting someone but there are so many thank you's."

The Pirates' scout assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Region contacted Gourley and said he would likely get drafted between the 11th and 13th rounds.

"I got the call and waited it out until my name came off the board," said Gourley. "Sharing a moment like that with my dad was something that I will never forget."

Gourley said contact with Pittsburgh was minimal during the draft process. He said negotiations will not begin until next week.

"I haven't even thought about any of that yet," said Gourley. "I will listen to whatever the team has to say, but right now I am just enjoying the moment."

Wooten waited a little longer to receive a phone call. Once the Padres announced the third baseman as their pick, Gourley quickly called with congratulations for his teammate.

"John called me the moment that I was selected and I did the same as soon as we heard his name," said Gourley. "To have a guy that you've played with and been friends with your whole life get drafted on the same day, it's just that much more special."

Gourley and Wooten have signed national letters-of-intent to play at East Carolina. Professional teams have until Aug. 15 to sign players to formal deals or lose their draft rights.

Once a player heads to the college ranks, he must play three year before he's eligible for the draft again.