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Putnam County senior Xavier Warren (seated, right) signs Monday to play baseball next season at Kaskaskia Community College. Also at the signing were Putnam County baseball coach Dave Garcia (seated, left), grandfather Ed Sieg (standing, left), mother Jessica Sieg (standing, center) and grandmother Linda Sieg (standing, right). Submitted photo
Brandon LaChance Staff Writer
Putnam County’s Xavier Warren fulfilled his dream of playing baseball past high school on Monday as the Putnam County senior standout signed a scholarship to play for Kaskaskia Community College during a ceremony in Granville.
“My friends and I always talk and joke around about how that (playing college baseball) was a dream of ours — then it became a reality quick,” Warren said. “I was like ‘wow’ I’m going to college to play a sport that I love. It’s a dream come true, honestly.”
The Panthers’ three-year starting catcher will attend Kaskaskia with sports journalism as his major and will spread his athleticism around the field for the Mitch Koester coached Blue Devils as a second baseman, an outfielder and a catcher.
PC coach Dave Garcia said Koester and his staff began scouting Warren during fall ball in Mattoon, Ill. and then invited him to a private workout in October. Warren committed verbally Nov. 5 and signed his letter of intent in mid-January.
“I’m proud of him,” Garcia said. “What people don’t realize is everybody sees Xavier as being a nice kid, but they don’t realize how hard that kid works. Anytime you find a kid at that age with that type of work ethic, you just want him to succeed.
“He’s been able to do that and it’s because he was raised right and he’s a hard nosed kid that gets the most out of his ability. He doesn’t take anything for granted.”
Warren’s first season behind the plate was his 2011 sophomore campaign, which saw the Panthers’ baseball team hoist a banner above R.M. Germano Gymnasium for making it to the Sectional final. He batted .363 last season while hitting five home runs, knocking in 19 RBI and stealing 19 bases. Warren was awarded for his efforts with a selection to the 2012 NewsTribune All-Area Team.
He is the second Panther to recently sign to play college baseball after Cody Ballerini inked a contract to Lake Land Community College.
The future Blue Devil said he will have a different team, but his dreams of making it to the next level and winning games remain. His mother says his top supporter will too.
“He’s had a love for baseball since he was a year old and to see how he’s grown through the years and to know that he still has the love for the game in his heart,” Jessica Sieg said. “It’s an honor to be his No. 1 fan.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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