Aycock's McGee, Quinn sign national letters-of-intent
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 24, 2010 11:09 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Childhood friends who grew up in the Babe Ruth and middle-school ranks, Nicholas McGee and Jordan Quinn each had a realistic approach toward their respective collegiate future.
Those aspirations became reality this week.
Teammates at Charles B. Aycock, the outspoken tandem officially signed national letters-of-intent with in-state colleges. McGee, a senior catcher, inked with Wingate University. Quinn, a senior first baseman, is headed to Southeastern Community College -- a Division II junior college program in Whiteville.
"I just wanted to go play somewhere and whatever happens, happens, you know?" said McGee. "I just wanted to play at the next level and felt like Wingate was the next-best thing for me from that (Division I aspiration), so that's why I chose that."
McGee considered perennial Division III power Methodist University and JUCO member Pitt Community College. As a member of the Dirtbags AAU 18-Under traveling squad, McGee garnered attention while attending the ImpactBaseball Senior Showcase at Wingate.
He hung around after the showcase, talked with the coaches and toured the campus.
"The program itself is improving and I really like Coach (Allen) Osborne and Coach (Josh) Gregory," said McGee. "I like the way they do business and coach. They're getting better every year and that's what I like about it."
Wingate won the 2010 South Atlantic Conference regular-season championship for the first time since 2000, and fifth time overall in program history since 1994. However, the Bulldogs' season ended with back-to-back losses to Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) and Mars Hill in the conference tournament.
Aware he must get stronger physically and fine-tune other parts of his game, McGee expects to play on the developmental squad as a freshman. He hopes to earn a starting role as a sophomore.
"The goal is try to start as a freshman, but you've got to have something to work far and I want to play," said McGee, who wanted to attend ACC member N.C. State.
Quinn hopes a Division I offer in his future, but he'll settle for playing time and learning experience on the JUCO scene. Last summer, Quinn compiled a list of all the junior college programs in North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
Through diligent research, Quinn narrowed his choices to Stanly CC, Brunswick CC and Southeastern. The Southeastern coaching staff responded to Quinn's letter.
"I like the two-year route where I'm not locked into a school and after one or two years, I can move on to a nice four-year program," said Quinn, who plays on the RBI Bandits travel team. "I like the coaches and the facilities were pretty nice. What impressed me was they come out and play the game the right way.
"I feel like I have a lot to improve on from here (today) to two years from now, and I am hoping they'll get it out of me so I can move onto something bigger and better."
Southeastern is just one of two Division II programs along with Lenoir CC in Kinston in Region X (10). The two teams usually dual each season for the right to advance to district tournament play, which is the springboard to the National JUCO World Series.
The Rams have six freshmen on this year's team, but are losing several second-year players. Quinn is hopeful he can take over at first base next spring.
"It excites me and gives me a chance to play right off the bat, hopefully, if I do my part," said Quinn. "That is my goal to play right at the beginning ... glad to have the opportunity. I've got to hit the weight room hard and get stronger."
A pair of National Honor Society members, McGee and Quinn have helped guide C.B. Aycock to a 19-2 record this season and a first-place tie in the highly-competitive Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference.
Each feels the Golden Falcons have plenty of baseball left to play and could do something special, if the team stays together and continues to work hard.
"Jordan knows the game," said Aycock coach Charles Davis. "The good thing he's got for going for him, and you don't see this in many players any more, is he's got good baseball instinct.
"Once Nick grew physically and got stronger, he blossomed into a very good catcher. One thing I've went away from this year is calling pitches, and letting Nick call it so he can learn the game a little bit more. He's done a heckuva job with it."