NRHS’ Savage picks MarymountPublished 9:37pm Tuesday, April 30, 2013
During a ceremony Monday at Nansemond River High School, senior outfielder Brandon Savage committed to play baseball next year at Marymount University.
As a result of rules governing Division III schools, Marymount cannot issue Savage an athletic scholarship, but it can let him know that the coaching staff there has a spot for him on the team if he wants to take it.
Savage was excited by the opportunity.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “I’ve been working my whole life, all my summers, all my time — all paid off now. I’m guaranteed, pretty much, to go play four more years of baseball.”
The selection process that led to Marymount involved several stops along the way.
“I had Roanoke College I went up and visited and Randolph-Macon, along with Averett, Hampden-Sydney,” Savage said. “And then — I want to say in the fall — (Marymount) Coach (Frank) Leoni contacted me, and I went up for a visit and just loved it right away. The coaching staff is great, I got a good vibe, so I just went with it.”
Savage’s parents Guy and Sherri Savage and his younger sister Calah were present for Monday’s ceremony.
“It’s something he’s always dreamed of, and it’s good to see him live out his dreams,” his father said. “These next four years are about the next 44 years of his life.”
Guy Savage attested to the sacrifices of time and money parents make for their children to be successful, but he said it was worth it.
“Travel ball had its expenses, but without the travel ball, (Brandon) wouldn’t be where he’s at today,” he said. “In fact, he was at a tournament at (Old Dominion University) when Leoni saw him.”
Marymount head baseball coach Frank Leoni is building Marymount’s program from scratch, and he looks forward to getting Brandon Savage’s help.
“He’s a great kid and obviously a very good baseball player, and we’re really looking forward to having him with us and having him be a part of that inaugural team,” Leoni said. “He’s obviously one of the guys that we felt was sort of a cornerstone recruit for us.”
Nansemond River head coach Mark Stuffel has seen Savage develop with the school program since seventh grade. He cited the opportunities Savage will have in such a young program.
“It suits Brandon perfectly,” Stuffel said. “I think he’s going to go there, he’s going to play a lot, he’s going to have a good time, and that’s pretty much what you want from a college experience.”
In terms of goals for college ball, Savage said, “I just want to go and hopefully set some records there, being a new program. I want to leave my name there.”
He plans to major in pre-physical therapy.
“Hopefully, I’m moving on to a doctorate program,” he said. “If I maintain a 3.3 (grade point average), I automatically get admitted to (Marymount’s). So, hopefully, I can get into a three-year doctorate program and be a physical therapist afterwards.”
Meanwhile, he and his parents look forward to many more highlights on Marymount’s home diamond in Arlington and elsewhere, too.
“We are definitely going to make as many games as we can,” his mother said.