Hirsch to wear Yellow Jacket

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2005

Surrounded by his friends, family and coaches, Will Hirsch took his first steps toward his future Wednesday.

The Nansemond River senior, who helped his team to regional competition for the first time of the millennium last season, signed a letter of intent to Georgia Tech, making him the first Warrior to sign to play baseball at an Atlantic Coast Conference School.

&uot;Over the summer, I did a lot of showcases, and the coaches at Georgia Tech called and asked me if I wanted to come play for them,&uot; said Hirsch, who made the First All-District team last season, recording 81 strikeouts and hitting among the team’s best.

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Tech’s got a bit to offer in the past and present sense; the Yellow Jackets won both the ACC and NCAA Super Regional titles last spring and ended up ranked 10th in the nation, and nine Tech alumnis are in the major leagues, including Jason Varitek, who helped Boston to the World Series title two seasons ago, All-Star Mark Teixeira of Texas, and longtime star Nomar Garciaparra.

Hirsch, who also runs indoor track and has a grade point average about 3.0, named Virginia Tech, Old Dominion and the University of Virginia as some others he considered, and said he’d like to study architecture. He received a 40 percent scholarship.

&uot;Will has been a big part of our team for the past few years,&uot; said River varsity coach Mark Stuffel. &uot;His work ethic is probably the best I’ve seen since I’ve been in. He’s not just a great player, but a great person. He was blessed with a strong arm, but he works really hard. He was a very coachable player.&uot;

&uot;Will’s one of the hardest-working players I’ve ever been around, as a coach or a player,&uot; said pitching coach Chip Runyon. &uot;He shows great leadership for us.&uot;