Thursday, December 23, 2010
Vanderburg signs with Delta State
By BARRY BURLESON
Josh Vanderburg knew in elementary school he wanted to play college baseball.
“Very much so, that was my goal,” the Marshall Academy senior said.
And since his freshman year in high school, his hope was to play at Delta State University.
Last week Vanderburg was all smiles. That’s because he signed a national letter of intent with the Statesmen.
“As soon as Delta State offered, I knew that was where I wanted to go,” he said. “I’ve visited and I went to camp there last summer. I like it a lot.”
Vanderburg came to MA his sophomore year, transferring from DeSoto Central. He is the Patriots’ starting catcher. He is a two-year all conference selection. Last season he led the team in runs-batted-in with 21 and he threw out 60 percent of base stealers (12 of 20). He received the Mr. Hustle Award as a sophomore and a junior.
Bart Jenkins, new head baseball coach at Marshall, said several players from his programs at other schools have gone to DSU.
“Josh fits the bill (for Delta State) as well as anybody,” Jenkins said. “His work ethic and dedication will make him successful there.”
Vanderburg’s new goal, after his senior season for the Patriots, is to become the starting catcher for the Statesmen.
“They plan for me to learn my first year and, hopefully, I can take over the job after that,” he said.
He said his father and mother (Jonathan and Renee Vanderburg) have always encouraged him and supported him.
“But baseball was always my choice,” Vanderburg said. “My dad would tell me to ‘go after it, if you want it.’”
A.C. Williams, one of his coaches when he was in eighth grade, got him interested in Delta State.
“Coach Williams and Coach (Johnny) Ray told me I could on (and play baseball after high school),” Vanderburg said.
Ray, now an assistant at Lambuth University, coached Vanderburg during his sophomore and junior seasons at Marshall Academy.
“I am very proud that Josh will continue his education and baseball career at Delta State,” Coach Ray said. “When he came to Marshall he told me he wanted to go to Delta State and play baseball. I’m glad that I could be a part of helping him reach that goal.
“He deserves all the credit because of his commitment and desire. It shows you what hard work will do for you. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
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